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Alasdair Fotheringham

Itzulia Basque Country crash victim Jay Vine will not need surgery despite vertebrae fractures

Jay Vine.

Itzulia Basque Country stage 4 crash victim Jay Vine will not need surgery despite suffering multiple fractures in his vertebrae from the high-speed pileup, his UAE Team Emirates confirmed in a medical update on Saturday.

Vine was among the worst injured in the crash that ripped through the Itzulia Basque Country peloton late on stage 4 on the descent of the Orlaeta climb. Eleven riders abandoned the race, and it was neutralised for over an hour. Among them were key favourites Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep), Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease A Bike), and Primoz Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Taken away by ambulance, the initial update from UAE was that the Australian had sustained “a cervical and two thoracic spine vertebral body fractures. Thankfully no neurological involvement, and there are no other major injuries or head trauma.”

They stated that Vine would remain in the hospital for neurological observation and that they were waiting for further assessments of the spine injuries and, with that, what the overall evaluation for his recovery process would be.

That evaluation has now confimed the injuries are stable, and UAE doctor Adrian Rotunno commented, “Thankfully, no surgery will be necessary for Jay.”

“The fractures are stable enough not to warrant surgical correction. Jay will remain in the hospital over the following days to allow for ongoing observations and further recovery. He will be in a neck brace for up to six weeks but will be able to start with general body rehab from next week."

The diagnosis will be welcome news for the Australian all-rounder, who was forced to abandon the Volta a Catalunya after stage 1 because of a stomach upset and was on the rebound path at the Itzulia prior to the horrendous crash on stage 4.

Vine already endured another major crash in the Vuelta a España last year. But he bounced back very strongly in the Tour of Turkey to take an impressive lone win. He then skipped the Tour Down Under, where he was the defending champion, to focus more strongly on the European calendar in 2024.

Vine got off to a very impressive start in Itzulia, claiming second on the opening TT. However, the crash left the rider injured and facing a lengthy recovery. Despite his very difficult situation, Saturday's update at least gives the Australian some much-needed good news.

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