Alessandro De Marchi suffered serious injuries including a collapsed lung in a crash that left him face down at the side of the road on stage nine of the Tour de France.
The CCC Team rider had been a major animator on the previous stage, joining stage winner Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) in the breakaway.
But De Marchi’s Tour was brought to a severe close when he crashed around 50km into stage nine, being seen led face down at the side of the road after the fall.
The Italian suffered a broken collarbone, ribs, abrasions, as well as bruising and a small collapse in his lung, and will remain in hospital for at least 24 hours, his team have confirmed.
Chief medical officer at CCC team, Dr Max Testa, said: “Alessandro’s recovery timeline will depend on whether he has surgery, but it will be at least three to four weeks before he can start riding on the rollers, following which he will ease back into training on the road. He will hopefully be in a position to race again in early September but we will continued to monitor his recovery and adjust this plan accordingly.”
Dr Testa said that De Marchi was take to hospital in nearby Saint-Étienne where X-rays and examination confirmed the multiple fractures, small pneumothorax (collapsed lung), and a laceration above his eye, all on the left side.
He will be kept under observation for the next 24 to 48 hours while doctors decide if he needs surgery to fix his collarbone in place.
The Tour de France 2019 is De Marchi’s fourth time in the French Grand Tour and is the first time he has been forced to abandon a three-week race after 12 different participations.
De Marchi, 33, said: “I’m really sorry to leave the Tour de France without having won a stage, which was my big goal. I’m disappointed to interrupt my tradition of finishing Grand Tours, as this will be the first time I’ve abandoned one.
“I’m fortunate that my injuries are not worse than they are. I’ve had a chance to speak to my family and I’m in good hands here at the hospital. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike as soon as possible.”