Team Sky rider Egan Bernal has sustained what the UCI WorldTour outfit describes as a ”serious facial trauma” following a crash during the Clasica San Sebastian in the Spanish Basque country yesterday.
The crash happened with 20 kilometres of the one-day race remaining, with TV images showing the 21-year-old Colombian being put into a neck brace before he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
In a statement, Team Sky said: “Egan suffered a serious facial trauma. He is awake and talking. He has had a precautionary scan to assess for further injuries which revealed a nasal fracture and maxillary injury.
“He will be assessed by maxillofacial specialists," the statement added, with Bernal spending Saturday evening un hospital.
Last month Bernal, who is in his first season at Team Sky and is being tipped by many as a potential Tour de France winner, won praise after playing a key support role as Geraint Thomas won the yellow jersey.
Movistar’s Mikel Landa was also involved in the crash and sustained a fractured lumbar vertebra, which his team said will require him to take “two to three weeks of absolute rest,” casting doubt over his plans to race the Vuelta.
Dimension Data’s Ben King expressed his apologies on Twitter to his fellow riders for having caused the crash.
“I am sincerely sorry to the riders who crashed as a result of my accident today,” he wrote.
“I looked back for my teammates when the rider beside me came across my front wheel.
“It's terrible when something like this affects yourself but worse when it affects others. “I hope everybody is ok.”
The race was won by with Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors in a two-up sprint with Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo after both attacked on the final climb.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.