Elisa Balsamo’s uncertain return to racing after severe crash

Elisa Balsamo

Elisa Balsamo, the former World Champion, remains uncertain about her return to racing following a severe crash during the final sprint on stage 1 of La Vuelta a Burgos Féminas in mid-May. Both Balsamo and fellow Italian rider Sofia Bertizzolo were hospitalised due to the incident. Balsamo sustained a fracture to her nasal bone and second metacarpal, alongside a concussion, necessitating surgery for both injuries.

Balsamo expressed her uncertainty and hopes regarding her return to racing, particularly aiming to join the Italian National Team for the road race and track events at the Olympic Games in late July and early August. “At the moment, I cannot make any predictions about my return. The Olympic dream is still there, and it is burning stronger than before. But now, unfortunately, I have more hopes than certainties,” she stated on Instagram on Thursday.

Reflecting on her recovery process, Balsamo shared her gratitude for the support she has received. “I introduce this post with a huge thank you to everyone who has written to me, showed your love to me and sent their best wishes. It has been a difficult two weeks, I won’t deny it. A roller-coaster of emotions. From fear to sorrow, from anger to hope,” she wrote.

“The only constant has been the determination to get up, once again. It will take time, patience and sacrifice. But thanks to the help of extraordinary people and the affection I feel around me, I know I can do it,” she continued.

This incident marks the second consecutive year Balsamo has faced a significant recovery period due to injuries sustained during racing. Last May, she endured a crash at the RideLondon Classique, resulting in a fractured jaw and wrist.

Despite the challenges, Balsamo remains focused on her recovery, drawing strength from her supporters and the progress she has made so far. “The worst is over, and now I am turning disappointment and anger into strength. Once again, thank you all. We will talk soon, I promise!”