Domenico Pozzovivo’s briefly lost consciousness in his heavy crash at the Giro d’Italia, according to reports.
The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider went down on the descent of Barbagelata towards the end of stage three on Monday and was taken to San Martino Hospital in Genoa.
In a statement, an Ag2r doctor said Pozzovivo suffered a cranial-facial trauma, which reportedly required 25 stitches around his right eye. He was reported to be conscious but lucid, with no recollection of the fall.
“I’m ok but it was a very heavy fall,” Pozzovivo told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I don’t remember what happened because I fell.
“I remember that the descent was difficult and maybe my wheel slipped. I wanted to finish this Giro well and it pains me to leave the race.”
But the 32-year-old had been enjoying a strong start to the season, claiming top-10 overall in all four stage races he’s finished, including third place at the Volta a Catalunya in March.
“The beginning of the season was excellent,” he added. “I was in the best condition of my life.
“I think I will be back in the Tour de Suisse and be competitive.”
The Swiss race kicks off on June 13, giving Pozzovivo just a month to get back to full fitness. Ag2r’s Giro hopes now lie with Colombian Carlos Betancur, who currently sits 58 seconds behind leader Michael Matthews.