PARIS (AFP) — Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, who was forced out of the Tour de France after a crash during stage 12 on Alpe d’Huez, underwent surgery on his injured back in Milan, his Bahrain-Merida team said Tuesday.
The 2014 Tour champion will be released from the hospital on Wednesday and will be able to return to training in a few days, starting on a stationary bike before heading back out on the road.
Nibali fractured a vertebra on July 19 after his bike got tangled up with a bag or a camera strap, sending him crashing to the ground as he rode through a plume of smoke on the crowded climb.
He finished the stage seventh and was fourth overall, 2:37 behind eventual winner Geraint Thomas, but he was ruled out of the rest of the race.
The 33-year-old is one of just seven riders to have won all three grand tours. He also won this year’s Milano-Sanremo, one of cycling’s five monuments.