Erick Rowsell crashes out of GiroBio with fractured vertebra

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Great Britain's leader at the GiroBio, Erick Rowsell, crashed on the way to Monte Grappa today and is in the hospital with a fractured vertebra.

"He had a fractured vertebra in ZLM Tour, in Holland," explained sports director, Max Sciandri. "When he was on the ground he said, 'I feel exactly the same.'"

Rowsell, 19, lost control of his bike on a corner going down the Passo San Boldo. He had been moving back to the team car to change his shoes.

Race doctors immediately took Rowsell to the hospital in Belluno, where Sciandri will join him this evening.

"Luke Rowe was going to be our GC guy, but he came here sick and we saw how Rowsell stepped up," Sciandri continued.

"He had just recovered from his other crash, did one race before the Giro and this was his first big race back. Today was pretty bad for us."

Colombian Carlos Betancur won the day, making two-for-two following yesterday's stage win. He topped the same Monte Grappa climb that the Giro d'Italia used last month, when Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) broke away and won solo in Asolo.

With the win, Betancur built upon his overall lead ahead of tomorrow's rest day. The race continues Thursday with a stage to Cesenatico and ends Sunday in Gaiole in Chianti, near the British base of Quarrata.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.