Quick-Step Floors riders Laurens De Plus and Petr Vakoc have been left injured after a collision with a truck during a training camp ride in South Africa.
The incident took place on Thursday during their daily training ride with teammate Bob Jungels, when the truck reportedly struck them from behind.
Both riders were sent down in the incident, with former Czech champion Vakoc left with the most severe injuries.
According to a Quick-Step release, Vakoc suffered several fractured vertebrae and will have surgery on Friday at the Mediclinic Nelspruit where the riders were taken by ambulance. Both riders were conscious following the incident.
Belgian De Plus also remains in hospital after suffering abrasions and a minor pulmonary and kidney contusion and should be released in the next few days.
Jungels, who was riding in front of the pair when the incident took place and avoided injury, said that he didn’t see the collision happen but immediately knew his teammates were injured.
He quickly attended to the pair, along with Quick-Step coach Koen Pelgrim and a bystander on the side of the road.
“The three of us were out training, when suddenly I heard a loud noise and then in the following second I saw Laurens and Petr on the ground,” Jungels said in a statement.
“I did not see the truck coming from behind, but it must have hit them with the left front mirror or even the front left part. I ran to them and could see they were injured, so I did not dare to move them.
“A lady who was on the side of the road came and helped us, calling the ambulance, while our trainer Koen and I talked with them. It was really tough to see them like that and I hope they will get over this difficult moment soon. I wish them a fast recovery.”