Australian rider Rory Sutherland has broken his leg while riding an electric scooter while on training camp.
The 37-year-old was in Tel Aviv for the launch of his new team, Israel Start-Up Nation, after transferring across from UAE Team Emirates.
Sutherland was taken to hospital in the Israeli city, and his broken femur was operated on.
The veteran rider will now presumably miss the start of the season after being signed as a road captain for the new WorldTour outfit, bringing experience to the roster.
In a statement released by Israel Start-Up Nation after the incident marred the team’s official launch, the team said: “In our unforgettable day, there was one painful moment: Rory Sutherland’s hard and unlucky fall last night has resulted in a broken femur. He’s been successfully operated on. Fast recovery, Rory!”
Launched this week, Israel Start-Up Nation have the ambition to take the first ever Israeli rider to the Tour de France, also investing in established talents such as Dan Martin and André Greipel as the team prepare to take on a calendar packed with WorldTour racing.
Electric scooters have seen an uptick in popularity after ride-sharing companies started placing scooters around urban areas as an alternative mode of transportation. Israel has apparently seen 120,000 e-scooters and e-bikes imported into the country over the past two years.
Sutherland has been a professional racer since 2002, when he signed with the Rabobank Continental team. Since then, he has ridden for UnitedHealthcare, Tinkoff-Saxo and Movistar, before moving to UAE Team Emirates.
Last months, Danish pro Niklas Larsen also broke his leg during a night out with his team while dancing. He now faces six weeks off the bike.
Earlier in the year, Dylan Teuns needed stitches in his forehead after a tractor accident at his home in Belgium.