British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart suffered a hip fracture and will need surgery after being involved in a crash during stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.
The Ineos Grenadiers racer, the 2020 champion, was involved in a multi-bike accident in wet conditions on a downhill descent with around 70km of the race’s longest leg remaining.
Geoghegan Hart, who sat third in the overall standings, was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after receiving roadside treatment.
After being taken to hospital for more examinations, the Ineos Grenadiers team confirmed Geoghegan Hart was set for an extended spell of recovery.
“Immediately following his involvement in a crash during today’s Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, Tao Geoghegan Hart was transported to a local hospital in Genoa,” an Ineos Grenadiers statement said.
“After further assessment, imaging confirmed that Tao had sustained a fracture of the left hip which will require surgery.
“Tao, the thoughts and best wishes of all your fellow Grenadiers are with you tonight. We wish you a speedy recovery and know you have what it takes to come back even stronger!”
Team-mate and overall race leader Geraint Thomas was also involved in the incident, but was able to continue along with nearest challenger Primoz Roglic.
Thomas said after the race: “As usual we were jostling for position, a UAE guy crashed next to me. I don’t know exactly who was taken out after me.
“We were pretty much on the same spot. Unfortunately Tao is badly injured. It’s obviously a big loss.
“He was going very well. He was in a really great position and it’s very unfortunate to lose him this way.”
Thomas retained the pink jersey for overall race leader with a two-second lead over Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic.
Pascal Ackermann, riding for UAE Team Emirates, claimed the stage 11 victory after triumphing courtesy of a photo finish in Tortona, crossing the line just ahead of Jonathan Milan.
This year’s race has been beset with problems as poor weather has been accompanied by a coronavirus outbreak, which has now seen 13 riders withdraw.
Soudal Quick-Step riders Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo were the latest to pull out on Wednesday.