Italian Domenico Pozzovivo is taken away on a stretcher after a heavy crash on a descent on stage three of the Giro d'Italia

Ag2r-La Mondiale rider Domenico Pozzovivo was taken to hospital on stage three of the Giro d’Italia crashing out of the race on the descent of Barbagelata.

In a nasty-looking crash, Pozzovivo, who finished fifth in last year’s race, was left sprawled across the tarmac in a crash where he looked to be the only one who went down.

With a teammate at his side the 32-year-old was tended to by doctors who looked to apply a neck brace to the rider. Pozzovivo was seen to still be down on the ground several minutes later with an ambulance on hand to take him away.

Italian television report that Pozzovivo was moving and breathing for himself when he was taken away in the ambulance.

His race to that stage was certainly not going to plan, having lost a significant amount of time to his General Classification rivals on stage one’s team time trial. He was then caught behind a crash on stage two and failed to catch the pack, leaving him a further 69 seconds back on the leaders.