Anthony Perez has revealed the extent of his injuries after he crashed into his team car during stage three of the Tour de France 2020.
The Frenchman, who had ridden himself into the lead of the mountains classification during the day, was forced to abandon the race when he hit his Cofidis team car on a descent and was thrown into a cliff wall.
Perez, 29, suffered two fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, extensive bruising and needed stitches in his knee and back after the fall.
He told French newspaper L’Equipe: “It happened too quickly I didn't have time to be afraid. I especially felt a great pain after the fall, I could not breathe and I understood immediately that it was not right. But I still tried to get back on the bike.”
The crash happened after Perez had sat up from the day’s breakaway and rejoined the peloton.
After suffering a puncture, the rider was descending the Col de Lèque behind his team car when the convoy of cars came to a halt in front.
Perez didn’t have time to react and hit the Cofidis vehicle, which then sent him into the cliff wall nearby.
But Perez said the team car also stopped him from falling into a ravine and suffering a worse crash.
He added: “I am a fatalist. It happened to me what happened to me, so it is. I'll be home in two days and see my family again. Now we have to heal and then we'll be back on the bike in six weeks. There's no point looking behind. "
Perez was riding his third Tour de France with Cofidis and formed part of an all-French three-rider breakaway on day three.
After sweeping up the KoM points for the day, Perez opted to rejoin the bunch as Jerôme Cousin continued alone for another 100km.
The stage was eventually won in fantastic fashion by Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan.
WorldTour transfers 2022: All of the men's and women's new signings for the 2022 season
Who's changing teams for 2022 and who's retiring from the world of professional cycling
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
Here are all the riders retiring from the men's & women's WorldTour peloton in 2021
A list of every rider who is hanging up the bike and stepping back from racing at the end of 2021
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
‘I’m not naive, I couldn’t say the whole peloton is clean,’ says Guillaume Martin
Guillaume Martin couldn’t say the whole peloton is clean after the Tour de France 2020.
By Alex Ballinger •
Tour de France 2017 wildcard teams announced
Three French teams and one Belgian squad will join the 18 WorldTour squads in the 2017 Tour de France
By Nigel Wynn •
Hand injury caused by fight forces Nacer Bouhanni out of Tour de France
A hand injury suffered in a fight with a drunken hotel guest at the weekend will keep Nacer Bouhanni out of the Tour de France
By Stuart Clarke •