Visconti sidelined from road for at least five weeks after operation on fracture
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Visconti sidelined from road for at least five weeks after operation on fracture

by Shane Stokes at 9:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Earle to replace injured Sutton on Sky squad for Santos Tour Down Under

giovanni ViscontiFears that Giovanni Visconti could end up missing sizeable chunk of the season appear to have been assuaged somewhat by the news that he has been successfully operated on for the leg fracture he sustained yesterday, and that he could be back training sooner rather than later.

The Movistar rider crashed hard after six laps of People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide, suffering a compound fracture to his right tibia. The nature of the injury was quickly confirmed and he was operated last night in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

That operation took approximately one hour and, according to the team, an intramedular nailing needle was used in order to stabilize the fracture. This is a rod inserted into the tibia and fixed in place with screws. It promotes an earlier than usual return to activity as the rod helps to share the load with the bone.

“Visconti will stay in the medical center for three days before being released and flying back to Europe next week with the rest of his team-mates at the end of the Tour Down Under,” said his team.

“The recovery will depend on the evolution of his injuries, yet Visconti is expected to stay at least five weeks away from the roads.”

The former Italian champion will likely begin his conditioning on an indoor trainer and then get back on his bike outdoors at the end of February. While he will undoubtedly lose some conditioning, his return should be early enough for him to aim to be in good form by the summer.

Visconti, Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler and Sky’s Chris Sutton will all miss out on the Santos Tour Down Under as a result of crashes. Voeckler fell last week, hours after arriving in Australia. He hit a stationary car in training and fractured the same collarbone he had broken twice previously.

As for Sutton, he crashed yesterday during the People’s Choice Classic. He was able to get back on his bike and finished a fine fourth in the sprint to the line, but X-rays earlier today diagnosed a fracture to his right wrist. As a result he and the team have decided to withdraw him from the WorldTour race, which starts tomorrow.

“It’s a massive blow not to be continuing on with the lads because they did an incredible job for me last night. My groin and my knee were pretty sore in the race but it was only afterwards, on the way back to the hotel, that my wrist started hurting and I couldn’t grip the handlebars,” he said.

“I’m trying to stay upbeat and looking forward to the Tour of Qatar now. That should be my first race back and I’ll have a week or so on the turbo before getting myself back on the road.

“In the meantime, I’ll be staying within the team during the Tour Down Under an cheering the lads on."

His place will be filled by fellow Australian Nathan Earle. He has been given the go ahead by the UCI to stand in for Sutton, and will fly from Hobart to Adelaide today.

The Santos Tour Down Under will begin tomorrow with a 135 kilometre stage from Nuriootpa to Angaston. Fears that it would have to be cancelled due to wildfires have proved unfounded and the opening leg – which includes the potentially decisive Menglers Hill twelve kilometres from the finish – will go ahead.

Earle is a new signing for Sky and is making his debut earlier than expected due to Sutton’s crash. He was twelfth in the recent Australian road race championships.

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