Steve Cummings is facing surgery after fracturing his left collarbone, sternum and left scapula (shoulder blade) as a result of a crash during stage four of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain on Thursday.
The 36-year-old British Dimension Data rider was caught up in a crash involving several riders towards the end of Thursday’s stage to Bilbao. He immediately abandoned the race and was taken to hospital for examination.
X-rays revealed the extent of Cummings’ injuries, and he was kept in hospital overnight for observation.
Dimension Data team doctor Dr Jarrad Van Zuydam said in a statement: “The scapular fracture extends into the joint meaning that Steve will likely need surgery to ensure an accurate reduction. He will stay in hospital overnight to allow adequate pain management but we hope to transfer him by tomorrow and schedule the surgery in the next two days.
“If all goes well, we can expect to have him on a trainer in two weeks’ time with a gradual return as pain allows.”
Cummings had been scheduled to lead the South African-registered WorldTour team at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but will now have to change the focus of his early season in light of the injuries.
Watch:Steve Cummings wins Tour de France 2016 stage seven
Last year, Cummings enjoyed his most successful season to date, winning stages of the Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of the Basque Country. He rounded off the year with an overall win in the Tour of Britain. Cycling Weekly magazine named Cummings as its Rider of the Year 2016.
David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) currently leads the general classification in the 2017 Tour of the Basque Country going into the race’s final two stages on Friday and Saturday. Cummings had been in 37th place overall at the start of the stage, just three seconds adrift of De La Cruz.