Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) has been forced to abandon the Tour de France due to injury, his team announced this evening. The Italian was diagnosed with a fractured T10 vertebra after a late crash on today’s 175.5-kilometres 12th stage from Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez.
The 2014 winner crashed with about 4 kilometres to go on the summit finish to Alpe d’Huez. Despite his crash, he went on to finish the stage in 7th position, just 13″ down on stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). After the stage, he was taken by ambulance to hospital in Grenoble for tests. Nibali had been sitting in fourth place overall. He will return to Italy tomorrow to begin his recovery.
It’s unclear exactly how the crash occurred. There had been some speculation that a motorbike may have been involved. However, a spectator has since posted the following video of the incident on Twitter which shows that a motorbike had not impeded Nibali and that a camera strap of a spectator may have got caught in his handlebars.
Acá el motivo de la caída de Nibali, gracias al video de @diegoalvarez12. NO es una moto, Nibali va normal, en el círculo ⭕ encerré una correa, al parecer de cámara, que engancha el manillar y se ve que se tensa, @vincenzonibali cae y después en el círculo ⭕ la correa reventada pic.twitter.com/4BFLmdnzK5
— Diego Sandoval (@DiegoSandovalR) July 19, 2018
According to the statement from his team: “The clinical examinations have shown the vertebral body fracture of the tenth thoracic vertebra and therefore its impossibility to continue the competition. Tomorrow in the morning, Vincenzo Nibali will return to Italy where, in the next days, he will undergo a new clinical evaluation.”