For many riders who appear in our ‘show us your scars’ series most of their injuries come as the result of crashes in the bunch or on wayward descents.

However, for Chad Haga and some of his Giant-Alpecin teammates – including John Degenkold who almost lost a finger, their injuries were the result of an incident with a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.

A 73-year-old British woman has been charged with reckless driving after the crash in Spain.

Injury photos courtesy of Chad Haga/Instagram

Photographs from the scene of the broken bikes gave some incidation of how bad the collision had been, but it’s images like the ones Haga shared on his on social media that really show the extent of his injuries.

It wasn't until I put my helmet on today that I finally understood the gap in my wounds…my helmet strap may have saved my life!

A post shared by Chad Haga (@thehagasaki) on

Most shocking of all was the 27-year-old’s realisation as to why there had been a gap over his throat in the line of 96 stitches: his helmet strap may well have saved his life.

Now racing at the Giro d’Italia, the American says that he isn’t fully recovered but a positive outlook and an ability to make light of such a traumatic time are helping him get back to his best.