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Florian Nicolai Dislocates Shoulder While Testing in Southern France

Mar 5, 2021 at 9:10
by Alicia Leggett  
Florian Nicolai has made the move to Trek will the move make Flo fly faster

Florian Nicolai dislocated his shoulder in a crash in Southern France. He was riding and testing with his teammate Hattie Harnden and their mechanic Andy Lund when he lost his front wheel in a corner and hit the ground hard.


They didn't have a phone with them, so they waited until their coach arrived and could call for help. He went to the hospital by helicopter.


Florian says he has a dislocated shoulder but luckily no broken bones. He is anticipating spending 15-20 days with his arm immobilized, then at least a month in physiotherapy before he's back up to speed.

We hope his recovery goes smoothly and look forward to seeing him back on the bike.

Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
745 articles

  • 148 3
 He got oxygen and an airlift for a dislocated shoulder? They wouldn’t even give me muscle relaxants or pin meds while they yanked on my shoulder for 45 min in the ER. The second time I just relocated it myself and rode down the mountain on my bike.
  • 46 5
 MotoGP they ride the next day
  • 46 1
 Benefit of the doubt, they may have thought it was more serious than a dislocated shoulder and didn’t want to take a chance.
  • 35 1
 @bocomtb: Well, Florian sat there "for several hours." I guess that made everything worse. I'd take everything they offered. Good on Florian for living in a First World country.
  • 30 2
 We all know what rachel atherton did when she dislocated hers ;-)
  • 9 0
 @Stokedonthis: It's all relative. I broke my tip/fib in multiple places. I tractionedand move the big chunks back in place an splinted my leg, then proceeded to hop out of the canyon using my bike as a walker. But it's all relative.
Maybe on another day it would have different. No judgement toward Florian at all.
  • 5 0
 Me too. They stuffed me in the corner of the waiting room and basically forgot about me until they could be bothered to do some x-rays and put it back. Happened again a few months later and I just had a friend out back in place that time.
  • 4 0
 @jimmythehat: You mean some MotoGP guys will race next daySmile
  • 6 0
 let me guess, you live in the US?
  • 6 0
 Just don’t smash humerus into pieces with a dislocated shoulder, that’s a whole different level of medical care :/
  • 16 15
 That's US for ya. Free health-care in the EU...
  • 2 1
 @RayDolor: i know man, i’ve had my fair share of injuries as well, i just wanted to make a joke Smile also, if i remember correctly, that wasn‘t rachels first luxation, so it was easier to get it back in
  • 7 0
 Profile flag checks out.
  • 5 29
flag meandros (Mar 5, 2021 at 16:31) (Below Threshold)
 @Stokedonthis: yeah! she Fkd the whole PLANET by dumping anuther plastic guzzling "her royal majesty's subject". how insecure and SELFISH of her self to make another human on this depleting rock!!!
  • 10 2
 @jimmythehat: I was thinking the same thing. Hell I popped mine out snowboarding and didn't even miss a run. Just put it back and kept going.

But every dislocation is different. He might have a separation of some fork or they were worried about a concussion or something. Generally when you lose your front wheel in a turn and smack hard enough to pop a shoulder you're head hits the ground too. Considering who he is and the nature... they were likely being extra careful. The look on his face doesn't look all there so it's possible he did ring his bell.

I'll give the dude the benefit of the doubt. These athletes are pretty damned tough. Get better Flo.
  • 6 0
 Welcome to France ! Especially in french riviera where they have a lot of means to rescue people. And it's not you to pay, so why not enjoy it ?
  • 12 3
 @HeyBaumeister: sorry to disappoint you, but just because you don't receive an invoice it doesn't mean it's free. A good thing to also check is the number of people in several EU countries that despite public healthcare still pay for medical insurance, that says a lot about the whole thing.

Sure, it certainly works better than in some other places, but it's not the utopia some people in the US portray it to be. And please, combine that with our taxation levels....
  • 4 1
 @Arierep: to be fair the French health system is one of the best, but sure we pay from taxes which are very high. I have private healthcare on too but that buys me a pair of prescription Oakley's every other year.

Apparently Florian was in "the worst pain he ever felt" for quite some time and a lot of the trails around here are very remote, so the helicopter was just for safety. It doesn't make it onto the front page, but the poor guy seems to break or sprain something almost every off season, which makes his race consistency all the more impressive.
  • 4 0
 @Yann305706: How you want to enjoy the helicopter flight when they narcotized you?
I would say drugs or helicopter flight but both is too much!
Some years ago I had a dislocated shoulder in Les Gets and I don't know anything of my rescue flight!
But the drugs were nice. Propofol I think.
  • 2 0
 I just thinking about the same thing. When I dislocated mine it was out for almost 4 hours...Then spend the next 1/2 year recovering
  • 3 0
 @RayDolor: It likely did and he's looking at more than 3 months PT to get the joint to heal. I did the same thing at TransCascadia and fortunately there was an orthopedic surgeon riding who popped my shoulder back into place within 15 min of the injury. She told me that likely minimized both the severity of the injury and length of rehab.

Couple hours with that pain probably sucked. I was fortunate to have lots of bourbon handy.
  • 3 1
 @HeyBaumeister: It is not free, it is called taxes
  • 3 0
 I don’t know if it’s the same but when skiing in France, they often have a small insurance premium attached to the lift ticket that pays for things like heli. I remember a sunny Friday in Val d isere, where I was drinking near a helipad mid mountain and it was like MASH, there were so many choppers coming and going.
  • 3 0
 @HeyBaumeister: nothing is free not even health care
  • 1 0
 Did mine this summer, badly.. Dropped down so low they thought the arm was broken cleanly. Never felt pain like it, broken many bones and dislocated fingers etc but this was the kind of pain that just immobilized me. Took oxygen and nitrous oxide to get me to move. Tried walking without gas and air, started blacking out / throwing up. Never thought it'd feel like that. As for putting back in without pain meds mate, don't even want to think what that was like. They have me fentanyl for the pain.
  • 2 0
 @HeyBaumeister: Please stop[ calling it "free" health care. It is paid for by tax payers dollars. Granted it is a great thing, but certainly not free.
  • 1 0
 @cky78: I think you guys are overthinking this.

Don't you get healthcare regardless of employment status? So if you're unemployed is it not free? Someone else is paying for it.

I think the thought process is pretty simple... you don't directly pay for medical care. You pay taxes which feed into the medical system that you take advantage of. Since you're not directly paying for it... it's free.

Be happy you don't live in the nazi state of California where we pay insane amount of taxes and inflated insurance premiums. 30% of my paycheck is gone before I get it. So it's heavily taxed. Then you pay taxes when you spend it... so taxed twice. Between the 30% tax and then my insurance premiums for dental, vision and general health care I'm paying roughly %57 of my pay check to taxes/insurance... plus the 10% sales tax when I spend it. So in reality... somewhere around 62% of my income goes to taxes (only counting spending outside of regular bills)

In canada the average family tax rate is somewhere around 24%.

So tell me again who's healthcare is free?
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: mostly all valid points, but you're really not that far off what we pay here in Ontario in terms of tax [income 29.65], cpp, and ei deductions each cheque, or union benefits [5%ish/cheque] (maybe "lucky" to have this luxury), 13% sales tax on most things... Sure the tax revenue is funneled into the health care system, but that in itself confirms what I'm saying. It is not free. So because I'm not walking into a hospital and handing over money, it's free? Haha. It's not like there's some health care fairy floating around sprinkling healing medicine on people...
My point was that our health care is not free, because it isn't. I'm sick of hippys saying it is.
  • 1 0
 @cky78: Nothing is free. But there's a difference between my taxes pay for my health care and I pay taxes and health care... That's what most folks are saying. Free... not technically.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: still nobody's health care is free, taxes that people pay, pay for their health care.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Oh and they are also paying for the health care of people who do not pay taxes.
  • 1 0
 @gregwari: I have a the video if you ever want to see it...
  • 35 0
 How do three riders not have a phone between them?
  • 7 0
 The bike couldn’t handle more stuff in the frame :-)))
  • 4 16
flag vhdh666 (Mar 5, 2021 at 20:37) (Below Threshold)
 maybe they're all old skool? you now, like real riders LOL
  • 6 0
 No Strava addicts in this group... Jokes aside I agree with you riding without a phone is rather irresponsible...
  • 28 0
 Rather break a bone than stretch soft tissue. Bone gets stronger, joint doesn’t. Quick healing and good PT, rider.
  • 8 0
 Aint that the truth.
  • 23 0
 Never dislocate your shoulder. Oh, and helicopters are only fun when they're taking you to the top, so avoid this type of scenario.
  • 17 0
 Damn, there go my plans for this weekend
  • 33 13
 That euro healthcare must be nice. "ma I got a splinter! CALL THE CHOPPA"
  • 7 2
 It depends a lot. I don't know about every single country, but mountain rescue helicopters are often separated from the healthcare system, so, unless you have insurance its possible to receive a hefty bill in the mail later
  • 4 1
 We must have Euro healthcare here too then. When I broke my arm and spent an hour hiking out even the medics were saying I should have called the helicopter. There was a heli rescue at my local ski resort recently too. They're just sitting there on call. Might as well put them to work if it means a more positive outcome.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: Brook Mcdonald must hate you right now!
  • 1 0
 @Eric27: That whole incident was a disaster. I bet where I live from when you first called 911 they'd probably have a heli to you quicker than they got one for him Frown . Actually that ski resort rescue there was a private heli that was able to get to the mountain quicker than the air ambulance so they sent that to do the actual rescue and transferred to air ambulance in the parking lot. Helps being close to an airport but still.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I mostly blame the UCI and Mt. St. ANNE. This was a huge event and DH is extremely dangerous. A Med Helicopter should have been on site in case of emergency. I hope a lesson was learned for future events.
  • 15 1
 I think some people here may be confusing dislocation with sublexation. If you "dislocated" your shoulder, popped it back in and kept riding, you likely only sublexed it, meaning partial dislocation. Still feels like hell/ does not function, but it's not fully dislocated. Full dislocation (I hear) often requires a trip to the ER. Cam McCaul has a lengthy video about this too. Unlikely you just pop it back in unless you have experience with it already. I sublex my shoulder a lot (chronic shoulder instability) and yes it sucks, but no does not require a hospital visit. Just lots of physio.
  • 4 0
  • 2 0
 With regard to shoulders, the term dislocation is used when the ball and the socket are not lined up at all. A subluxation means they are partially aligned and there is still some surface contact between the ball and the socket. You can partially subluxate and its often reported as an uneasy feeling where the ball and the socket shift in and out of place. I have seen patients with severe chronic shoulder instability fully dislocate and reduce their shoulder on their own. In addition, there are a group of patients with joint hypermobility who can voluntarily dislocate as well. However, most people will require a trip to the ER for a reduction.
  • 12 0
 I can't believe the level of the comments to this article. People going on about how tough they are, about whether he should get airlifted or not, la di da... yet only a handful wish Flo a quick recovery. It's really disappointing to be honest. The guy has taken a hit when the season is just round the corner and he's been training his backside off for months. Imagine how he's feeling. I'm clearly expecting too much from this crowd. Get healed up quick Flo, I for one, want to see you on the podium, where you belong.
  • 1 3
 People don't like to learn that their favourite rider is a pansy. I get it.
  • 7 0
 Shoulders are tough. Recovery depends on so many factors . I mean is this the first dislocation? How far out ? Twisted ? Ac joint issues, ligament tear/partial.... did the impact “divot” the ball end, is there any small fractures to the edge of the socket ? Back at World Cup pace in a few months would be best case scenario really... such a weird joint. Ask Tahnee, Reece, zink, McCall.... List goes on... everyone who rides MX...
  • 1 0
 Mine was all of the above. Took a good 6-7 months of PT for it to feel close to normal, fortunately did not need surgery.

The torn AC joint on the other shoulder *should* have gone under the knife.
  • 3 0
 @jobytapia: exactly 6-7 months is accurate. Had my third proper dislocation end of October, after skipping back end on an exposed root and clipping a tree (mx bike). An overnight vaca at hospital and now we’re 4-5 months on, 2 mri later and I’m waiting for surgery notice. Just too unstable at this point. Feels fine for everyday life at this point but I can’t confidently be active in any sport or even wrestle my 4 year old . Glass shoulder. Any fall on any bike since 2018 it’s coming out. Combo that with previous ac issues and a collarbone fracture at the ac and sometimes surgery is the right move. Goodluck and keep’er strong!! It’s the best preventative medicine!!
  • 12 6
 Wow - we'd be lucky to get a side x side Gator to drag our sorry asses off the mountain here in the states....let alone a chopper.
  • 2 0
 Choppers and side by side rescues happen often Colorado at least (was there for 10 years). Not sure how things are in your neck of the woods, but solid there and seems to be that way here in Northwest Arkansas area. Really depends on your location and if they are used to handling backwoods operations.
  • 14 0
 Flight rescue is extremely common in mountainous terrain. Does your disdain for America make you ignorant to alpine activities?

Better have some good health insurance, however
  • 8 0
 Depending on where you live in the US there may be a good solution. The state of NH sells "Hike Safe" cards for $25. From the state website: "People who obtain the cards are not liable to repay rescue costs if they need to be rescued."

I'm not sure whether other states do something similar, but it's a good solution for folks who are in the wilderness pretty often. And the money goes toward the Search and Rescue Fund regardless, so it's a good cause as well as cheap insurance.
  • 6 0
 @maximumunicorn: Damn. That's downright decent.
  • 5 1
 Unbelievable high-angle and other rescues by rad experts happen regularly in the US. Multiple agencies pluck people all the time, in all scenarios, where are you hiding out? Never got busted up and carried to a hospital? Try it, it’ll cure your misconception.
  • 2 0
 I've seen choppers over county parks to pick up bikers who were injured.They were located in some steep terrain that's hard to get to.
  • 2 0
 We've got airboats down here. That fancy flying stuff ain't needed.
  • 9 11
 Why is it so popular to shit on America now? we have a great healthcare system and definitely use helicopters for remote rescues when nessecary. Are you complaining because it's not free..... if so that's dumb. Our healthcare system runs faster and better than most any socialized healthcare country. Plus no matter where you are in America you are getting world class care which you can hardly say about most countries.

Don't just hate on America because it's the cool thing to do these days unless you have a valid point otherwise you sound uninformed and foolish.
  • 9 4
 @grundletroll: if only any of what you said was true...
  • 1 0
 @rider001: I've gotten busted up to the point of needing titanium and never got a heli ride even though I had a long walk and a 2 hr car ride. The last big backcountry ride I did last summer had a rider break his back, collapsed lung and 3 broken ribs...walked 2 hrs back to the truck and 3 hr drive back to hospital.

I'm glad he got quick care, not a slight on him at all - but can't picture a situation where a heli would be called for a non-emergency situation in the US. Like I said, the best we'd generally get is a EMT crew to stabilize and walk / drive you out if needed.
  • 1 0
 @Mntneer: Disdain - I live here. Health Insurance doesn't mean squat when it comes to helicopters but you can buy supplemental plans that do.

Flight rescue is NOT common for non-life threatening injuries with a stable subject that can walk.
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: It sucks that you got into the system. Do you carry a PLB, Spot, etc? Seems like you would've mentioned it. PLB runs on a dedicated frequency/sat that is monitored and responded to. I replied because I was the beneficiary of numerous rescue pros' skill and selflessness, saw some very fancy chopper piloting and a lot more. If people know you are there and injured, they will generally find a way to help. I saw a CalFire chopper come in for a tired hiker six miles from the car. Rider on an overloaded moto on GDMBR got stuck in a wash, pulled his beacon and got helped out. Friend with broken femur in UT BC pulls beacon, gets plucked. Still another airlifted two miles from trailhead in the San Gabes with a collapsed lung. And more. So yes, they do respond to all severity of situations. The SAR community is some of the most selfless and disciplined outdoor people I can think of. I thank them for not having to walk on a prosthetic today like one of my pals does.

It was regretful to suggest that anyone get injured to test the system. I hope my remark was only taken with the sarcasm intended. I hope nobody ever has a reason to summon help. Cheers, Bart.
  • 1 0
 @rider001: We've had beacons but made the call not to use since we were mobile enough to extract ourselves without massive issues. I probably wouldn't use it unless I felt like it was life or death, I know that is the prevailing thoughts of the group I ride with, for better or worse. We are pretty self sufficient, know basic backcountry first aid and generally know how to get out with minimal fuss. The event last year was borderline but worked out in the end.

I am doing a 10 day remote motorcycle ride in Idaho later this year and will have that PLB turned on every day!
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: Thanks for the info, bravo on the sensible self-extraction and upcoming trip.

Circling back to why you disparage the US SAR network. I assume you have a reason.
  • 10 2
 Ugh, shoulders are such shitty joints. Heal up Flo!
  • 3 0
 Had the same many years ago(16 years) ,crash when trying to move the shoulder it got stuck ,my friends said you have to go to the hospital,I said wait a minute let me just try to put it in ,and I did it ,that relief when the shoulder is again in the right place it’s like a miracle ,then I said let’s go I’m ok and we did ,friends asking me if I was alright has I was riding ,I said no problem just a little sore nothing special,and then came the human been being human (my friends),try spinning the shoulder back slightly (and I did ),now try it spinning it more (I was riding )I said ok why not ,and then off he went again with almost another crash ,I said thanks for the advice doctors (we tend to listen to people’s advice specially friends),i though I could put it back in ,but no way ,maybe with a hammer:-)) ,walk to a gas station call a friend to pick me up and my bike ,and hospital I went after one hour of getting there ,then 30 minutes for the XR ,doctor look at it ,said ok pop the shoulder again in (what a relief it was)said 15 days off ,next 3 weeks therapy and since then been ok ,but the firsts day where scary like will it pop up ?,take it easy Florian the first moth but after that bring it on ,salut
  • 6 0
 Probably testing some fucking silly rear shock Trek wants to put on all their bikes that none asked for....
  • 1 0
  • 4 0
 This might just be me but if I was hurt then I don’t think I would be saying “Fred get the gram out take out cool photo”. Sponsors will love it
  • 3 0
 I just got surgery to put my glenoid back together after a recent crash. Luckily my arm popped right back in with no fuss, maybe thanks to all that extra clearance from the break, lol... Good luck!
  • 2 0
 Not all dislocated shoulders are a simple ball joint popping out the socket ...!some get nasty, like mine , dropped down a chute in a kayak & trapped my arm in a rock & the rest is historyI , smashed the socket tore ligaments 6 weeks strapped to my body , over a year in phisio , 9 months of work & lost 10% movement all round, 25 years later I still get shit from it...!
  • 1 0
 Damaging your shoulder is no joke. I broke the head of my humerus into several pieces (and broke the head off the bone too) when my front wheel washed out under me on an icy road a couple of years ago. I ended up with a frozen shoulder, and I’m still not fully healed
  • 3 0
 First time I dislocated my shoulder I took 3 T3s drank like crazy and went to Moe Joe's luring babes on the d-floor with my sick sling
  • 1 0
 Rescue isnt free. Social care is payed by all of us. ITs not exactly the same thing. Here we have a pro rider in an aera difficult to access. Mass are not only for oxygen, you can use other things to avoid pain. No matter of pride here. He probably could go down himself...........and totally ruined his shoulder. Pride can have a high price.
  • 1 0
 Nasty dislocations aren't much fun, I popped my shoulder out broke my scapula cracked my upper arm in 3 places and some ribbs jumping some hip jumps at cannock chace blue spade area. The worst bit was the winding I sware I didn't breath for about 3 mins,it was scary, I trooped up the hill back to the main path so I didn't die alone, took stok off myself checked I wasn't spitting up blood and trooped about a mile back to the car. Some nice lads back at the car park put me in a sling and loaded my bike up for me cheers who ever you were. Spent the night in hospital listening to drunks fight the police and paramedics in walsgrave hospital, thay don't half put up with some shit. Well the moral of this story don't fucking jump alone, like a penis I have been doing silly things for years Iv been lucky to get away with it for this long. Just thought I'd say. Not long and lock down will be done and those pesky jumps will be tempting me again lol.
  • 4 1
 Airlifted for a dislocated shoulder? Why
  • 2 15
flag meandros (Mar 5, 2021 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 because "insurance will pay for it" and this "champ" is a salesman, by any other name, getting paid when injured while on duty and safetynetted by better medical services than most of us mortals.
  • 13 2
 @meandros: totally wrong. In France even a Joey or a foreigner without insurance would benefit the same rescue. Free.
  • 2 26
flag meandros (Mar 5, 2021 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 @Etienne-H: even the ghettos of paris, lyon and marseile get the same treatment? even the migrant camps? what about the people in Libya that YOU bombed back into the middle ages? do they get YOUR medical services?! you colonial f-tard, i hope you get vaxx'ed into extinction, cancer of the world!
  • 7 1
 @Etienne-H: Looks like your new friend forgot to take his medication Big Grin
He has no idea what he's talking about.
  • 3 1
 @evildos: ???? yes we have a new champion ????!
  • 3 1
 @evildos: (I failed the emoticons sorry)
  • 1 1
 @Etienne-H: Agreed, but not for "Free". Everything has a cost, but I understand that if it happens to someone, he will not directly pay for. The healthcare system is indeed specific. It's perhaps for such reasons that it makes decades that France looses year after year some places in the ranking of medical services.
  • 3 1
 il a l'air marrant le meandros
  • 1 0
 Well the guy is a pro is he not? This is his livelihood, why would he or his sponsors take any chances? You only get one body after all.
  • 3 0
 @powpowpow: Au top le gars,j'lui mettrais bien sa pilule sur le bike cet abruti!
  • 1 0
Saying "free" I'm sure you understand what I mean! You don't pay a bill directly.
Using a road is free (OK haigway aren't) electricity in the street is free, school is free, firemen's services are free...
Mountain rescue (except on the ski slopes) is free for user, it's a public service and the cost is borne by the community.

I don't know if it's a good/bad thing, if it's better or worst elsewhere, that's just how is works in France Wink
  • 1 0
 @Etienne-H: yes we are in line. It's just that the french system tends to make us forgetting the real costs of things. I'm sure that the airlift was motivated by very good reasons in that case and for all the others.
  • 3 1
 Ouch. Hope recovery is speedy and goes well.
  • 3 1
 I feel for the guy, that's awful.
  • 1 15
flag meandros (Mar 5, 2021 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 dont. feel for yrself!
  • 3 1
 @meandros: Oh I'm sure you feel yrself enough for all of us, champ.
  • 1 0
 Ouch ! Healing vibes, Flo !
  • 1 4
 I dislocated my shoulder 3-4 miles in while riding solo and it wouldn't go back in socket. A passing rider called the ranger, loaded my bike and drove me back to my truck. I loaded my bike myself on the rack and drove myself to the local ER where I work. I walked myself about 300' with my arm hanging down and pain about level 12 and checked myself in. They finally set my arm about 50 minutes later after X-Rays. Some people used to play Soccer and other used to play American Football.
  • 1 0
 Some people write in the pink bike comments about how tough and masculine and big dick they are, others read in disgust.
  • 1 0
 Florian, stay strong, get well, hope to see you on bike ASAP...
  • 1 1
 "You know what's always good for shoulder pain? If you lick my butt hole" - Brendan, AKA Nighthawk.
  • 1 1
 one expensive helicopter ride
  • 2 1
 Not if you have a real job/insurance.
  • 4 0
 @chicane32: Call your insurance company and inquire...come back here and let us know what their rate is for an ambulance ride...a heliflight? Please
  • 1 0
 Mere flesh wound.....
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