TOBLACH, Italy – Ivan Babikov (CAN) will race Stage 5 of the 2012 Tour de Ski, according to Canadian Head Coach Justin Wadsworth.
“He’s for sure going to race today,” Wadsworth said.
Babikov had a catastrophic crash at the end of Stage 4 of the Tour in Germany, breaking a ski and a pole. Canadian staff initially feared he had broken his wrist.
X-rays came up negative, and after an examination by Mireille Belzile—the mother of Canadian star Alex Harvey, and a sports physician—Babikov will compete in Tuesday’s 5 k classic race without a brace on his arm, and instead rely on some physiotape from Belzile for support.
Babikov won’t be holding anything back, unless he’s limited by pain, Wadsworth said. The swelling in Babikov’s arm has spread somewhat, but as far as the Canadians know, the damage is limited to soft tissue, Wadsworth added.
He said that “the pain in some of the motions has decreased, so it’s going in the right direction, I think.”
“It’s just probably going to be uncomfortable, today, in the race,” he said. “But I think Babs can handle it.”
Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.