AG2R's Rinaldo Nocentini ready to return to racing
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

AG2R's Rinaldo Nocentini ready to return to racing

by Jered Gruber at 12:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Tour de France start a definite possibility

Rinaldo NocentiniFollowing a terrible crash at the GP Insubria in February, AG2R's Rinaldo Nocentini was forced to take a long break to recover from his substantial leg injuries. After three months out of competition, Nocentini looks set to return to racing in just over a week.

A yellow jersey wearer at the Tour de France in 2009, Nocentini started this season in fine form with a 2nd overall at the Tour of the Mediterranean and a win in Stage 1 of the Tour du Haut Var. His promising form came to a screeching halt, however, with a horrific crash at the GP Insubria at the end of February.

The wreck resulted in a broken tibia, fibula, and a number of bones in his foot, including the malleolus and talus. A three and a half hour surgery netted him two metal rods and fifteen screws in his war-torn leg.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Nocentini was confident in not only a return to racing, but coming back better than ever: "I will return to race, and I will be even stronger. The doctors have told me that it will take time, but this injury will not affect the rest of my career."

52 days later, Nocentini was back on his bike with big hopes for his comeback: "I'm trying to speed up the recovery. I would like to get back into the races by June: Dauphiné [Libéré] or Switzerland [Tour de Suisse]. I would ride in the Italian Championships in Veneto and then see if the team will give me a chance of taking on the Tour [de France]."

Fast forward another five and a half weeks, and the 32-year-old is gearing up to return to racing. Nocentini will begin his comeback run with the GP du Canton d'Argovie in Switzerland next Sunday. Before that though, he will participate in a pre-Tour de France training camp with his AG2R teammates at La Toussuire.


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