Tiesj Benoot broke his neck in a crash reportedly involving a car in the Italian Alps on Monday, which may mean his season has ended early.
The Jumbo-Visma rider was reported by various Belgian media outlets to have been in a crash near Livigno while training alone and sustained various fractures. The incident was later confirmed by the team and Benoot himself, who said that he is "stable".
According to Het Laatse Nieuws (opens in new tab), the crash was caused by a driver during a descent. On Tuesday, Benoot posted on Instagram to reassure his fans that he is "doing ok".
The Belgian wrote: "First of all, want to let everyone know that I'm doing ok.
"Yesterday I was involved in a crash in the Italian Alps. I'm now in the hospital, receiving good medical care to recover from the crash. Despite the seriousness of the situation-examinations showed that I suffered a small fracture in my neck - was never in a life-threatening situation and am stable.
"Thanks everyone, for sending me all your kind messages. In the following weeks, I will fully focus on my recovery."
The neck fracture might mean that his season has been curtailed prematurely; he was due to be heading to Australia in September to help the Belgian team and Wout van Aert at the World Championships, a trip that now looks unlikely.
Benoot was a key part of Jumbo-Visma's team at the Tour, a race which saw them win the yellow jersey through Jonas Vingegaard and the green jersey through Wout van Aert, and six stages in the process.
He was one of just five riders to finish the Tour for the squad, and therefore was required to work in the mountains as well as on rolling stages. This year has been his first season with Jumbo, but his contract has already been extended to 2025.
As well as his third place at San Sebastián, Benoot also finished third at the Amstel Gold Race this year, and second at Dwars door Vlaanderen, as well as being a key ally to his trade and national teammate Van Aert.
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