Ivan Basso needs fifteen stitches in his face after Etna crash
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ivan Basso needs fifteen stitches in his face after Etna crash

by Ben Atkins at 1:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Injury
 
Giro champion training on volcano ahead of Tour de France bid

Ivan Basso CrashIvan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) needed fifteen stitches to facial wounds yesterday, after he crashed while descending Mount Etna in Sicily. The 2010 Giro d’Italia winner has skipped his national tour this year in favour of an attempt at winning the Tour de France, but was on the volcano at the same time as the Giro stage was finishing there on Sunday.

According to the Liquigas-Cannondale team, Basso was descending Etna when his front wheel hit a storm drain on a corner at the edge the road. He fell violently, hitting his face and shoulder on the road; he was rushed to the medical centre at Linguaglossa, by team director Paolo Slongo, where staff applied fifteen stitches to his right eyebrow and cheekbone.

He was later transferred to a larger hospital in Giarre, where x-rays excluded any fractures.

“I was very worried,” said Basso, “because the impact was so violent and it as a very delicate part of my face. Fortunately I was treated very quickly and the x-ray ruled out the worst.

“This is something I don’t need,” he added, “but it will not stop my preparation for the Tour; I will gradually get back out on the road in the next few days.”

Later on, Basso sought to reassure his fans, via Twitter, that he was okay.

“My friends, bad day with a crash during training.15 stitches on face and a knock on the shoulder. I was scared but now it's ok,” he wrote, adding: “My Rudy Project helmet saves me today. Hey guys, safety first of all: never forget to use it when you ride on bike!”

Basso was due to ride the Giro this year to support teammate Vincenzo Nibali’s attempt at victory; he pulled out at the eleventh hour though, due to the poor form he had suffered through the Ardennes Classics.

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