An Italian cyclist is in intensive care after his lung was punctured by a piece of track at the under-23 junior track championships in Ghent, Belgium.
Lorenzo Gobbo, 17, crashed during the scratch race of the men’s junior omnium and his thigh and side were pierced by the wooden track.
The piece of wooden track is said to be half a metre long and was caused by a rider ahead of Gobbo had crashing and his pedal churning up a piece of the track, which Gobbo then fell on.
Gobbo was rushed to hospital where a surgeon removed the wood, with the young Italian placed in intensive care to prevent infections.
Workers set about repairing the section of damaged track at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx. Gobbo is said to be awake with his parents at his side as his condition is closely monitored.
Frank Glorieux, the director of the track, told Belgian broadcaster Sporza: “He is in intensive care. He has not had the best night but has no fever and is progressing well. There is a chance that he may go to a normal room tomorrow.
“He said he would have won rather than make the newspapers this way. He could still laugh, but he doesn’t want to ride on the track for the time being. He will have to find his courage. He should recover completely, but there is a long recovery time ahead for him.”