Pascal Ackermann will continue to race the Giro d’Italia after losing a lot of skin in a high-speed crash.
The German sprinter was caught in a rapid collision at the 1km banner on stage 10 as the peloton raced towards the sprint finish.
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Ackermann, the breakthrough winner of two stages at this year’s Giro, went down hard and slid along the tarmac.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider sustained several abrasions and contusions, but was able to finish the stage bloodied with huge tears in his shorts and jersey.
His team later confirmed he had not suffered any fractures.
Speaking after the finish, Ackermann said: “At the 1km to go mark, everything went by so fast so I don’t really know what happened and I couldn’t react in time.
“The crash was heavy and I sustained a few abrasions and contusions, but thankfully I can continue to ride.
“We’ll see how it goes [on stage 11], but these are the demands of a Grand Tour, and you just have to take such setbacks as they come.”
Bora-Hansgrohe confirmed on Wednesday morning (May 22) that the 25-year-old would start stage 11.
Team-mate Rüdiger Selig, who finished third on the stage after losing his sprinter in the crash, said he had been forced to brake quickly and Ackermann was not able to avoid his wheel.
Ackermann currently leads the points classification in the 2019 Giro d’Italia, but his advantage has narrowed to just one point after Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare won stage 10 with a long-range sprint.
Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Christian Poemer said: “Of course we are in shock after Pascal’s heavy crash, where he was somehow lucky in his misfortune.
“It is a pity that Pascal wasn’t able to take part in the sprint for the win, as he also lost valuable points in the battle for the maglia ciclamino.”
The sprint field is expected to narrow after stage 11, as Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) are likely to leave the race in order to turn their attentions to the Tour de France in July.
There are just two more sprint opportunities left in the race, with the final day for the fastmen falling on stage 18.