'We've got to recover the man & think about the athlete later': Return to racing still unknown for Domenico Pozzovivo after collision with car

The Italian remains in hospital with serious injuries that could jeopardise his future in professional cycling

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bahrain-Merida say they are more concerned with Domenico Pozzovivo's recovery from an incident with car while training before it gives any hopes to him racing again.

The Italian climber was hit head on by a Fiat Grande Punto on Sunday while training near his home in Cosenza. He broke his leg, arm, collarbone and ribs.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported him as saying: "They put an end to my career."

"He's taken a good hit," team doctor Emilio Magni told La Gazzetta.

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"The primary objective, even considering that Domenico is 36, is to completely recover the man. We will think about the athlete later."

The newspaper headlined the article this morning that Pozzovivo "rischia di smettere" or "risks quitting" given the severity of the incident in Italy's southern region of Reggio Calabria.

His father said that the driver of the car took a curve a bit wide and Pozzovivo, hit head on, ended up on the bonnet. Instead of heading to the Vuelta a España next week, where he was to lead the team with Vincenzo Nibali focused on other races, he is recovering in a hospital.

The risk is that after 15 years in the professional ranks, twice fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia, the 36-year-old could be prohibited from racing again. The good news is that Pozzovivo is conscious and his life was not at risk in the incident.

"Domenico has fractures in his clavicle, humerus and ulna of the left arm; the right tibia and fibula," Magni added.

"The fractures of the humerus, ulna and tibia are open. At this time and with this clinical snapshot, it is relatively serious. There is a lung contusion, but at the moment there are no ventilatory problems.

"It is not a simple picture, but Pozzovivo, who never lost consciousness after the accident, is calm and conscious."

Pozzovivo was transferred to the orthopaedic ward for further examinations and to allow the doctors to have clearer picture of the injuries. The team will decide if he will transfer to another hospital or remain in Cosenza.

He had just returned home after finishing the Tour of Poland 12th overall behind winner Pavel Sivakov (Ineos). Bahrain-Merida had him down to aim for the Vuelta, going for the overall and also aiming for stage victories. The race starts next Saturday near Alicante.

"He didn't' need this incident," said his agent, Raimondo Scimone. "When I got the call from his wife, I froze. I had the same scare as when I heard about Michele Scarponi."

Scarponi, who Scimone also managed, died when hit by a truck in 2017.

Pozzovivo suffered in several crashes over years: facial and head injuries in the 2015 Giro d'Italia and in the 2019 Flèche Wallonne, a concussion.

"If you consider the accident, it went well for him," said his father Leonardo Pozzovivo. "But somewhat, bad luck haunts him."

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