Vingegaard breaks collarbone and several ribs in crash at race in Spain. Evenepoel also injured

MADRID (AP) — Two-time defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard broke his collarbone and several ribs Thursday in a crash at the Tour of Basque Country that also caught up Olympic gold medalist Primoz Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, who also sustained a broken collarbone.

Evenepoel, one of the favorites for the road race at the Paris Games, also has a broken right shoulder blade and was scheduled return to Belgium on Friday for surgery on his collarbone, his team said.

Vingegaard was hardly moving as he was put in an ambulance wearing an oxygen mask and neck brace after the crash occurred with less than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) left in the fourth stage.

“Examinations at the hospital have revealed that he has a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. He remains in hospital as a precaution,” Team Visma said of the 27-year-old Danish rider, who won the race in Spain a year ago.

The accident happened as riders were making a right-hand turn, and one rider’s front tire appeared to slip out and send other riders off the road. There were some large rocks in the area, though it wasn’t clear if any of the riders hit them.

Video and images of the crash showed riders strewn alongside the road, including in a concrete drainage ditch.

Vingegaard won both races he entered this season at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Gran Camino in Spain. He is considered the heavy favorite to triumph again at the Tour, which ends with a time trial in Nice this year because of the Paris Olympics.

“Over the radio we heard Jonas was involved in a big crash,” Visma sports director Addy Engels told Eurosport. “We immediately saw that it didn’t look good when we arrived to him. Fortunately, he was conscious. Jonas is now being examined at the hospital. We are waiting for any updates now.”

Evenepoel, who won stages at the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta last year, hit the pavement and landed in a wooded area during Thursday’s crash, though he appeared to be walking away while clutching his chest.

Evenepoel’s team, Soudal Quick-Step, later confirmed that the Belgian “suffered a fracture to his right collarbone and his right scapula.” The team said he will undergo surgery “and further examination” at the hospital in Belgium.

Roglič was leading the overall race despite a heavy fall on Wednesday. He was one of the riders that ended up in the drainage ditch, and he was later spotted walking to a Bora-Hansgrohe team car and driving away with a team staff.

The injuries to Roglič came one day after his teammate, Lennard Kämna, was hit by an oncoming vehicle and sustained serious injuries while on a training ride in Tenerife. Kämna was expected to spend several days in the intensive care unit.

Other riders taken to the hospital Thursday included Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates and Steff Cras of TotalEnergies, which reported its rider was conscious and “transferred to hospital to carry out additional examinations.” EF Education-EasyPost said two of its riders, Alexander Cepeda and Sean Quinn were involved, and Quinn was forced to abandon the race and his “medical evaluation was ongoing.” Others involved in the crash included Quinten Hermans and Natnael Tesfatsion.

The race was neutralized until the finish line, and the restart had to be delayed until doctors could rejoin the race to accompany the remaining riders. Six riders who had been in a breakaway stopped to wait in the next town, and they were allowed to sprint for the stage win but neither their times nor any bonuses would count for the general classification.

Louis Meintjes of Intermarché Wanty wound up winning the stage. Mattias Skjelmose took the overall race lead.

“It’s a sad day. I wish all the guys who crashed all the best and wish them a fast recovery,” Skjelmose said at the finish. “My mind is with the guys who crashed, and right now I am not thinking about the leader’s jersey.”


AP sports:

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