Vincenzo Nibali will undergo surgery in Italy after suffering a double fracture of his collarbone during the men’s road race in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Saturday. Nibali was one of several high-profile riders to suffer injuries as a result of crashes during the race.
The Italian star was in the lead group alongside Sergio Henao (Colombia) and Rafal Majka (Poland) when both Henao and Nibali crashed on a corner on the race’s final descent of Vista Chinesa, around 10km from the finish.
Nibali was taken away for medical examination in Rio and x-rays confirmed that he had two fractures in his collarbone.
Italian coach Davide Cassani confirmed the injury on Twitter, saying: “Unfortunately, Vincenzo Nibali has a broken collarbone. The first thing he said to me: ‘I feel sorry for the guys'”.
Henao fractured part of his pelvis in the fall, according to the Colombian Olympic Committee. They reported that he had suffered a fracture to the iliac crest and chest trauma.
Earlier in the race, Australian Richie Porte had crashed and fractured his shoulder blade (scapula) after crashing into a tree while trying to avoid another fallen rider in the road. Porte was scheduled to take part in Wednesday’s men’s time trial, but must now sit it out.
British hope Geraint Thomas was in the chase group when he too crashed on the final descent. He sustained injuries to his back and side, but with no reported fractures. He remounted his bike and finished in 11th place, but disappointed to have missed out on a medal.
Belgian Greg Van Avermaet won the race ahead of Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark), with Majka coming home for bronze.
On Wednesday it was confirmed that Nibali had signed to the new Bahrain Merida cycling team for the 2017 season.