Shoulder popping at the Tour Down Under with Morabito

When television images showed Steve Morabito (FDJ) clutching his right shoulder and sitting on the tarmac on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under, everyone predicted that the Swiss rider would leave the race with a broken collarbone. Everyone but Morabito, it seems.

As the peloton pushed through the heat and towards the finish in Stirling, leaving Morabito behind, medics rushed to the rider’s aid. When he made it to his feet he immediately knew what he had done and as he stood over his bike, and gripping the bars tightly, he and his team staff yanked his shoulder into place.

“I did it by myself. The guys behind in the ambulance don’t want to do it, I know how to do it and so I did it by myself with the help of my team,” Morabito told Cyclingnews and CyclingTips at the finish.

“I grabbed my handlebar and some guys were keeping my bike straight and I just pushed a little bit the shoulder and it came in. It was really painful before and when it’s come in it’s again ok.”

By the time Morabito had crossed the line most of teammates had left for the race hotel, some 45 minutes drive from the finish of stage 2. However, with his young family in Australia, Morabito took time to play with his young daughter and catch up with his directuer sportif. He barely had a scratch on him when two journalists approached him, but indicated that he would ride the full distance back to the team hotel and then be assessed ahead of Thursday’s stage.

“I’ll ride to the Hilton and after I will see tonight and I hope to start again tomorrow. Now it’s ok. It’s a bit sore I will say. First I touched my collarbone and felt it was nothing on it and I realised the shoulder was just sitting in the front and it was very clear … no doubt it’s this.”

Morabito has a history of dislocating his right shoulder, admitting that this was maybe the ‘second or third time’ it had happened in his career.

“Yeah, I did already two-three times, so I already know the feeling. It was hard to put it again in," he said.

“I was just looking behind, calling the car for having some bottles and I was in the air and I did a flip. I was on the floor, my shoulder dislocated and it was quite painful.”

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