Edoardo Zardini finished stage six of the 2018 Giro d’Italia on Thursday despite having suffered a broken collarbone thanks to the collective work of his Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia team-mates.
Zardini had been part of the day’s large breakaway group, but crashed just at the base of the long final climb up Mount Etna.
Despite evidently being in pain, the 28-year-old Italian continued the stage and was joined by all seven of his team-mates who ensured that he finished the gruelling climb on what the team said was a “horrible day”.
Sadly, despite Wilier and Zardini’s efforts, his Giro is now over as post-stage X-rays confirmed a fracture of his collarbone.
“A horrible day for the team Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia that is forced to say goodbye to Edoardo Zardini that was involved in a crash during the 6th stage of the Giro d’Italia,” the team said in a statement.
“The rider was able to join a 28 men breakaway with also the colombian Esteban Chaves, winner of the stage.
“At the bottom of the final climb to the Etna volcano the crash happened with Zardini that was able to end the stage before being transferred to the mobile clinic where the x-rays have found out the broken collarbone and the end of his Giro d’Italia.
“To Edoardo the best wishes from all the team for a fast recovery.”
The whole team were among the last 11 riders to finish the stage, coming home 26 minutes and 26 seconds adrift of stage winner Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott).
The team posted a photo of Zardini being shepherded by his team-mates into the final kilometre of the stage, saying “This is a great picture. All the team helps Zardini to reach the finish with a broken collarbone. The meaning of team work.”
The remaining seven Wilier Triestina riders will now continue the Giro, with six of them now occupying the final six places in the general classification. You can almost guarantee that they will try and put a rider in the break each day.