Fernando Gaviria is out of the Tour of Turkey with a broken collarbone after a crash in the final 5km of the first stage.
The Colombian was caught in a squeeze in the final, but his Quick-Step Floors lead-out team were not deterred and went on to win the stage regardless.
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Gaviria was trapped between two riders in the middle of the peloton with 3.9km left to ride and came down after touching wheels with a rider in front.
The 24-year-old immediately reached for his collarbone and looked in a lot of pain.
Gaviria was immediately taken to hospital after the stage and X-rayed, revealing a clavicle fracture.
The sprinter will fly to Belgium on Wednesday where he will undergo further examination to detefmine whether surgery is needed.
This crash brings Gaviria’s season to an early conclusion, as the Tour of Turkey was due to be the Colombian’s final days of racing this year.
After being given attention by doctors at the side of the road, the Quick-Step Floors man remounted his bike and rode to the line, but could not hold the handlebars with his right hand.
Undeterred by the crash of their lead sprinter, Quick-Step Floors kept the pressure on to the line, and Max Richeze was able to spring clear of the bunch in the final turn to take the win.
The calm response to losing their leader in the closing stages shows the depth of the Quick-Step squad.
Richeze was followed across the line by Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jempy Drucker (BMC).
Stage one of the Tour of Turkey was a 150km stretch starting and finishing in Konya, with category two and three climbs in the route.
But the final 40km were mostly downhill with a long, flat run to the finish.
Gaviria’s future at Quick-Step has come into question in recent weeks, as team boss Patrick Lefevere tried to reduce the budget for 2019 while struggling to find a new sponsor.
Both Gaviria and Vuelta a España podium placer Enric Mas were rumoured to be leaving the team.
But Quick-Step announced on Monday evening that a new sponsor would be coming on board from 2019 as part of a multi-year deal.
From next season, Deceuninck window profile manufacturer will be joining the team, which will be known as Deceuninck-Quick Step.
So far there has been no further update on the line-up.
Tour of Turkey 2018 stage one, Konya-Konya (150km)
1. Max Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors, in 3-29-13
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Jempy Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing