A Deceuninck-Quick Step rider, Remco Evenepoel, 20, suffered a fractured pelvis crashing off a bridge during the Il Lombardia cycling race.
Evenepoel was a part of a leading group who were descending from the Colma di Sormano – the highest climb on the race.
He was lying around fourth in the group when he struck the wall of a bridge before somersaulting on to his back and over the edge.
Evenepoel was attended to by paramedics and taken to hospital. In a statement his team said he had suffered “multiple injuries”.
“Evenepoel crashed inside the last 50 kilometre hitting a bridge wall and going over it into a ravine,” Deceuninck-Quick Step said.
“Remco was conscious at all times as he underwent a series of examinations to reveal the extent of his injury.
“Unfortunately, the X-rays showed a fractured pelvis and a right lung contusion, which will keep Evenepoel on the sidelines for the upcoming period.
“He had a quiet night at the hospital and the evolution of his condition is good. Due to the nature of the injury, Remco has to be transported by plane to Belgium in a supine position [lying down].”
“The team is doing everything possible to bring him back home as soon as possible, hopefully in the next 24 hours, in the most efficient and safe way.”
The Belgian is one of the most promising prospects in road cycling, winning the Tour of Poland and the Volta a Burgos already this year.
He is being compared to Eddy Merckx – a fellow Belgian widely regarded as the greatest cyclist of all time – for his all-round ability on the bike.
In another bizarre twist at the end of the race Bora-Hansgrohe’s Max Schachmann was struck by a car which somehow entered the closed roads and cut across the German Paris-Nice winner as it attempted to park.