Young Belgian rider Daan Myngheer was rushed to hospital during the opening road race of the 2016 Criterium International after suffering a heart attack.
The Roubaix Lille Métropole rider was reportedly dropped by the peloton at around 65km in to the morning road race of the ASO event, and was immediately attended to by medical staff on the route when it was clear something was wrong.
The 22-year-old then suffered a heart attack in the ambulance and was rushed to a local hospital before being taken by helicopter to specialist cardiac unit in Ajaccio, Corsica. Myngheer has since been in a coma having been resuscitated.
ASO race director Christian Prudhomme confirmed the incident to AFP earlier on Saturday.
“His condition is stable,” Prudhomme said. “It is less worrying than this morning, but we have to be prudent.”
The race was won by Irishman Sam Bennett of Bora-Argon18, while Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) took the honours in the 7km individual time trial in the afternoon, taking charge of the general classification with it.
Myngheer remains in intensive care in Ajaccio, with his teammate Louis Verhelst, who was also dropped in the race, telling Belgian television that his teammate had told him that “he was not feeling well,” prior to the incident.
Roubaix Lille Metropole sports director Michael Dernies told Het Nieuwsblad, “Daan had a heart attack. We do not know yet whether the attack came before or after his fall. In a serious condition he was transferred to the hospital in Ajaccio. Like our other riders, Daan passed medical tests last November. In addition, we have discovered nothing. “
Coach Kristof De Kegel said that, in addition to remaining in a coma, “there are problems with his kidneys and liver”.