Luis Ángel Maté needed 50 stitches in his head and was hospitalised overnight following a crash at the Tour of Poland, with the Spaniard saying his helmet saved his life.
The crash, which occurred with 20km of racing left, also claimed his Cofidis team-mate Filippo Fortin, who suffered four broken ribs, with both riders abandoning the race.
Maté suffered a severe blow to the head that caused a major haemorrhage. Luckily, the Spaniard was able to rest well on his first night in hospital and is recovering well.
Somehow Maté didn't suffer a fracture or lose consciousness during the crash. He did, however, require 50 stitches to close the wound on his head. Fortin was less fortunate and required surgery for his broken ribs.
"The helmet saved my life. I lost a lot of blood and most likely I have to stay a couple of days under observation," Maté said. "Now I'll just focus on resting, recovering and riding my bike as soon as possible."
Maté's crash has come at an unfortunate time, three weeks to the day before the main goal of his season - the Vuelta a España - but the 35-year-old hopes to recover in time for the start of the Spanish Grand Tour.
The Cofidis rider held the King of the Mountains jersey from stage three until stage 16 at last year's race, before ceding it to Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
Another pro recently requiring stitches in their head was Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), although the Belgian's injury occurred in slightly more bizarre circumstances.
Teuns was involved in a tractor accident while gardening at his home in Halen, Belgium at the end of July. The 27-year-old winner of stage six of the Tour de France on La Planche des Belles Filles banged his face on the steering wheel of the tractor when it stopped suddenly.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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