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Alessandro De Marchi is under observation in a Saint-Étienne hospital after breaking multiple bones in a bad crash that forced him to abandon the Tour de France.
De Marchi hit the deck very hard in the early goings of stage 9 as the battle to get into the day’s break heated up. The 33-year-old Italian, a breakaway specialist who counts three Vuelta a España stage wins on his career palmares, spent a few scary moments lying face down on the side of the road. He was conscious as medical staff attended to him, however, and was taken away from the scene in a stretcher.
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Further evaluation at the hospital revealed fractures to his clavicle and the fourth rib on his left side, a lung contusion, and several superficial cuts and bruises.
“Alessandro will be kept under observation for the next 24 to 48 hours, during which time it will be decided if surgery is necessary to fixate the clavicle fracture,” CCC’s doctor Max Testa said in a team statement.
De Marchi’s crash came only a day after an impressive performance in the breakaway on stage 8, where he and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) worked well together into the final 20 kilometers before De Gendt dropped De Marchi and soloed to the victory. After the stage, De Gendt praised De Marchi for his approach.
“This maybe sounds strange, but he doesn’t think, he doesn’t calculate, he just goes, just like me,” De Gendt said of De Marchi. “And that’s the best you can have. If you have 10 guys like this in a break then they will never catch us.”
24 hours later, De Marchi is out of the race after the crash, although he is expected to recover within the next two months, according to CCC.
“Alessandro’s recovery timeline will depend on whether he has surgery but it will be at least three to four weeks before he can start riding on the rollers, following which he will ease back into training on the road,” Testa said.
As De Marchi pointed out in the team’s press release, this is the first time he has ever had to pull out of a Grand Tour across 12 career appearances.
“I’m really sorry to leave the Tour de France without having won a stage, which was my big goal,” De Marchi said in the press release.
“I’m disappointed to interrupt my tradition of finishing Grand Tours, as this will be the first time I abandon one. I’m fortunate that my injuries are not worse than they are, I’ve had a chance to speak to my family, and I’m in good hands here at the hospital.”