Vincenzo Nibali due to speak with French magistrates about Tour de France crash

The Italian was forced to withdraw after fracturing a vertebra in a crash with a spectator

Vincenzo Nibali has not ruled out the possibility of joining Team Sky Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Vincenzo Nibali is due to head back to France to speak to magistrates after suffering a fractured vertebra during a crash in the Tour de France.

The Italian came down on the slopes of Alpe d’Huez after colliding with a fan during stage 12 and was forced to abandon.

Nibali is believed to have become tangled in the camera strap of a fan on the side of the heavily crowded roads near the summit of the climb in this year’s tour.

Cycling Weekly reported in August that Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team were due to pursue a case against the Tour de France organisers after the crash.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Tuesday that Nibali is due to speak to French magistrates on November 10.

The meeting could happen in Grenoble, near the slopes of Alpe d'Huez or across the border in Italy, the newspaper said.

General manager of Bahrain-Merida, Brent Copeland told Gazzetta: “It will be a long thing.

“In the [UCI WorldTour] ranking we are seventh.

“We were aiming to close in the top five, and without Vincenzo’s accident at the Tour we would have succeeded.”

Speaking to Cycling Weekly in August, Copeland said the situation is unimaginable in other sports.

He said: “If you think about it, Vincenzo Nibali was lying there with a broken vertebra and a fan came there and pulled him up.

“Could you imagine that in football or the NFL?”

Smoke from flares, billowing flags and running fans made the situation chaotic on the famous climb. Four-time race winner Chris Froome (Sky) was hit twice by fans, and police arrested at least one individual.

Nibali’s crash was not the only time this season a camera strap affected racing.

At Il Lombardia on Sunday, Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) got tangled in a camera strap on a climb 45km from the finish.

Bardet didn’t hit the floor but was pulled off his bike and came to a complete halt.

Since suffering the nasty injury at this year’s Tour, Nibali has been battling to return to form and finally appeared to be approaching his best at Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season.

After making it into the final decisive move of the day with eventual winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Nibali lost contact with the Frenchmen and was caught by a chasing group, before attacking again and taking second place.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.