2010 Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) avoided serious injury despite crashing hard during a training ride on Mount Etna on Sicily on Tuesday.
Team officials confirmed that Basso, who is not racing the Giro to focus on the Tour de France this season, was on the volcano for a 15-day training camp at altitude. He fell after slipping on a drain while descending on the roads where the Giro peloton had passed on Sunday. Basso fell hard on his face and right shoulder, leaving him with 15 stitches.
“I was pretty scared because the impact was violent and because I landed on a delicate part of the face,” Basso said in a team release. “I was treated quickly and X-rays ruled out the worst. The incident will not stop my preparation for the Tour. The training will resume in the coming days.”
Basso later wrote on his Twitter that his “helmet saved my life – never ride a bike without a helmet!”
Team officials said Basso’s front wheel slipped on a wet corner as the two-time Giro champion swept down the descent off Europe’s most active volcano.
Basso was transported to a local hospital where X-rays and a CT scan revealed there were no fractures or serious injury. Officials said Basso would stay overnight in a hospital for observation, but is expected to be released Wednesday.