BMC Racing’s Marco Pinotti broke two ribs and injured his shoulder when he crashed during Thursday’s individual time trial at the Tour Méditerranéen, the team reported.
According to a team release, Pinotti turned left on a fast section of the 24-kilometer course before the final climb of Mont Saint Claire. Strong, gusting winds seem to be a factor in the accident.
“It was a tailwind on that section and I crashed a couple meters after the corner,” Pinotti said. “It was probably the wind because I didn’t crash exactly on the corner. I was still coming out of it, turning left and the wind was coming from the left.”
Despite being banged up, the five-time Italian national time trial champion rode the final four kilometers to the finish up the steep finale with an average a gradient of 15 percent.
Team doctors confirmed that Pinotti did not break his collarbone, but said the injury is in the same area from a fall in last year’s TT world championship. Pinotti was contending for a medal at the worlds when he went down in a slick corner.
“He injured the collarbone at the same site where he injured it before,” BMC Racing doctor Scott Major said. “The ribs he broke are more like hairline fractures and are not displaced, so he had no injuries to his lungs, kidney or spleen. He does have a lot of abrasions on his left side: his back, his shoulder and his hip.”
Major said Pinotti will be off the bike seven to 10 days before the medical team will make a re-evaluation to plan his return to training.