Thursday, May 19, 2011

Basso avoids serious injury

Liquigas-Cannondale rider Ivan Basso avoided serious injury after suffering a heavy crash while preparing for this year's Tour de France. The Italian has been in Sicily training before the sport's showpiece event next month, training at altitude on Mount Etna. The 33-year old was rounding a corner at speed when he came off his bike, slamming his face and shoulder into the road.

Team director of sport Paolo Slongo was on the scene at the time of the accident and Basso was given 15 stitches at a medical centre nearby, before the rider headed to a local hospital for X-rays that confirmed no break to any bones. Despite admitting his fear at the time of the worrying incident, Basso has played down fears it would put his participation in next month's Tour under any doubt so those looking at the Tour de France betting need not worry.

"I was really scared, because the impact was violent and in a delicate area. I didn't need this accident but it certainly won't stop my preparation for the Tour. I'll restart my approach gradually over the next few days," he said.

After opting out of the current Giro d'Italia in order to preserve himself for next month's Tour, this injury will have been far from what Basso would have had in mind. The relief for all-concerned will be that the damage to the Italian is purely cosmetic, and Basso will be fit an ready to once again mount a challenge at the famous race next month.

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