Pozzato to return to racing tomorrow, nine days after sustaining fracture
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Pozzato to return to racing tomorrow, nine days after sustaining fracture

by Shane Stokes at 6:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Italian Classics specialist shows hardman qualities

Reactions have ranged from heroic to crazy but, eight days after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Qatar, Filippo Pozzato has confirmed that he will take part in tomorrow’s Trofeo Laigueglia race in Italy.

The Farnese Vini Selle Italia rider was operated on last Sunday and resumed training on Wednesday. Now, in what is an extremely rapid return, he’ll put on a race number tomorrow and take part in the Liguria event.

“I'll race because I don't want to lost the good work done, and because with Luca [Scinto – directeur sportif], we decided it's better this way,” the 30 year old said. “Yesterday he came training with me, we did more than four hours with some specific jobs and the feeling I had told me that I can think of the race, although obviously doing it as a workout.”

After a couple of lean seasons, Pozzato is motivated to return to his top form this year and wants to shine in the Classics. Providing his rapid return to competition doesn’t cause any more complications – not least another fall – he should be in good shape for Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. But, now, getting back in action so soon could potentially also keep him in the frame for Milan-Sanremo, which he won six years ago.

Despite the danger of another crash, Physical therapist Michele Del Gallo believes he isn’t taking unnecessary risks. “He’s ready, he would not race if he was not able to do so and if it wasn’t within the limits of legitimate risks of a situation like this.”

Debates will rage if the Italian is being reckless, if motorpacing would not achieve the same goal while removing the danger of other riders around him. But Scinto suggests that Pozzato may also need competition to stay focussed.

“Filippo is really motivated, wants to race, is aggressive,” he said. “Keeping him at home could result in him unnecessary doubts and misgivings. Better to have him concentrated in the group, without taking risks, and breathing the air of the race rather than leaving him at home, taking the same risks.”

The hope is that Pozzato is making the decision under the best circumstances rather than feeling any pressure by his high-profile signing to the team.

“I cannot escape my responsibilities,” he said, showing that at the very least, his obligations are on his mind. “There’s a truly united team around me with wonderful sponsors who have invested in me. I must return at once for them.”

He will be joined by Luca Mazzanti, Elia Favilli, Francesco Failli, Leonardo Giordani, Rafael Andriato, Alfredo Balloni and Davide Ricci Bitti. The team states that they will be aggressive, while his aim will be to sit in the bunch and use this first race back as a workout.

The views of the surgeon who treated him less than a week ago are not yet known.


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