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Chaves fractures shoulder blade, will not defend Il Lombardia title

Esteban Chaves’ (Orica-Scott) season is over and thus he will not defend his title at Il Lombardia next Sunday after crashing heavily inside the final 10 kilometers of Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday and fracturing his right should blade.

“This is not how I wanted to finish my 2017 season, especially without the opportunity to return to Lombardia after such special memories last year, but this is the way it is and we now focus on the recovery and next season,” Chaves said from the hospital. “It’s just a bone and there are much bigger challenges in life, we are lucky. We will return from this and I’m looking forward to a new year in 2018.

“I want to thank the team and the hospital staff for looking after me so well and to the fans for all of their kind messages and thoughts. It means a lot, thank you. I am good.”

Chaves was attempting to chase down eventual Giro dell’Emilia winner Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) when he lost control on a bend and crashed heavily on his right side. He was riding in support of teammate Jack Haig despite being the defending champion at the race.

Chaves was taken to the hospital where X-rays revealed a fracture of the right shoulder blade. Despite clear brain scans, the Colombian spent the night in the hospital under observation having also hit his head hard in the crash.

Orica-Scott’s race doctor Matteo Beltemacchi said the fracture will not require surgery and Chaves will have to keep his right arm immobilized for 15 days before beginning therapy to restrengthen the shoulder. He doesn’t believe the injury will have an effect on Chaves’ preparation for the 2018 season.

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