Samuele Battistella had earmarked the Ardennes Classics as one of the key goals of his season in 2022, but a crash during the Amstel Gold Race left him battered and bruised and even unconscious on the road.
Fortunately he did not suffer serious injuries but faces a period of rest rather than racing in Belgium.
It was around 150km into the 254.1km Amstel Gold Race that Battistella’s Ardennes plans unravelled. Television cameras captured an alarming picture of a rider lying flat on the edge of a roundabout. Fotunately medical staff quixkly rushed to his aid.
After the race Astana Qazaqstan came out with a medical update, showing photographs of a wounded but still smiling Battistella.
He “got some wounds on his face and broke one tooth, 4 stitches on eyebrow and 3 stitches on upper lip have been applied,” said Astana Qazaqstan in a post on Twitter.
The rider then added more about the ramifications of the crash in a further poston social media.
“I’ve lost the memory on what happened yesterday at Amstel Gold Race, I crashed so hard on the ground that I wasn’t conscious for 20 mins or more,” said Battistella on Twitter.
“Luckily the medical staff at the hospital said is all “ok” I just need recovery and stay under control.”
The Italian rider had marked out the Ardennes Classics as his targets after finishing his season with a victory in 2022, ramping up for Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne on April 20 and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on April 24 with training at altitude.
Battistella took his first professional win on roads close to home at the Veneto Classic, in October of 2021. It was also his first victory since he took out the under 23 road race title at the 2019 Road World Championships in Harrogate, following the disqualification of Nils Eekhoff’s for drafting. It was the next year that he shifted to the WorldTour with NTT, then moved over to Astana.
He took a fourth and fifth place on his first two days of racing for the 2022 season at Tour de la Provence and has also stepped up to the podium again this season. He took second behind David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) on a messy crash marred finish on stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve. He abandoned Paris-Nice on stage 3 because of bronchitis, only returning to the peloton at the Amstel Gold Race.
🇳🇱 MEDICAL UPDATE: @Amstelgoldrace In a bad crash during the race (after some 150 km) @samu_batti got some wounds on his face and broke one tooth, 4 stitches on eyebrow and 3 stitches on upper lip have been applied. We wish Samuele to get well soon!#AGR22 #AstanaQazaqstanTeam pic.twitter.com/8AfzxXjxRdApril 10, 2022
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Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.