Vincenzo Nibali fitted with carbon brace to keep his Giro d’Italia hopes alive

ROCCARASO ITALY OCTOBER 11 Start Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 9 a 207km stage from San Salvo to Roccaraso Aremogna 1658m girodiitalia Giro on October 11 2020 in Roccaraso Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vincenzo Nibali (opens in new tab) (Trek-Segafredo) still hopes to ride the Giro d'Italia despite breaking his wrist and has been fitted with a specially designed carbon brace that will help him train on the road as his bone heals. 

Nibali fractured the radius of his right wrist in a training accident a week ago, just three and a half weeks before the Giro d’Italia starts in Turin on May 8. The 36-year-old rider underwent surgery on Thursday, with the placement of a metal plate and screws in his wrist. On Monday he was fitted with the new brace. 

“The brace was modeled on the grip between the hand and the handlebar to allow Nibali to ride the bike,” said Trek-Segafredo (opens in new tab) team doctor Emilio Magni. 

“This is the aspect at the center of our evaluation to understand the real possibilities of Vincenzo to face competition in safety.”

The two-time Giro d'Italia winner said the brace, designed and developed by the staff at the Fisiology Center in Forlì led by Fabrizio Borra, will accompany him on the recovery path. Borra is a specialist in rehabilitation. He worked with Marco Pantani when he fractured his leg and has helped many MotoGP pilotes return to racing soon after injury. 

“I don't want to leave any stone unturned to be at [the Giro d'Italia], we are doing our best,” said the Italian rider in a post on Twitter

“But we need patience, lucidity and caution before any decision. Every day until May 8 will be precious.”

It is Nibali’s third major fracture in recent years. He crashed in the final lap at the Olympic Games road race in Rio in 2016 and broke his collarbone, returning to racing six weeks later. In 2018 he was fourth overall at the Tour de France when a spectator on L'Alpe d'Huez caused him to crashed and he fractured a vertebra. Special surgery allowed him to return to competition five weeks later at the Vuelta a España and ride the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.

Magni said physiotherapy work on the hand was now in full swing while Nibali was due to visit the surgeon who operated on him on Thursday to have stitches removed and receive medical feedback. An X-ray is also scheduled to examine how the fracture repair is progressing.

“After Thursday’s visit, we will be able to think about the next step, which is to allow Vincenzo to train consistently on his home trainer and then on the road. It will be a gradual process that, in addition to the medical indication, will take into high consideration the feelings of the rider,” said Magni.

“I think it is still premature to hypothesize a timing for the decision on Vincenzo’s presence at the Giro. We continue to have hope and to do the impossible to succeed, but the road is still uphill.”

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