Alessandro de Marchi's Tour de France came to an abrupt end on stage 9 when the Italian crashed hard and had to be transported by ambulance to a hospital in Saint-Etienne. There were troubling images of de Marchi on the ground bleeding from a wound on his forehead, but the team said on Twitter that he had remained conscious.
The CCC Team later confirmed that he sustained a broken collarbone and rib, lung contusions and a pneumothorax in addition to numerous contusions in a crash that happened in the opening kilometres of the stage.
"Alessandro De Marchi was taken to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire - Hôpital Nord in Saint-Étienne where X-rays confirmed a fractured clavicle, fractured fourth rib, lung contusion with a small pneumothorax, all of which is on the left side, and multiple superficial contusions, including a laceration above the left eyebrow. Alessandro will be kept under observation for the next 24 to 48 hours, during which time it will be decided if surgery is necessary to fixate the clavicle fracture," CCC Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said.
"Alessandro's recovery timeline will depend on whether he has surgery but it will be at least three to four weeks before he can start riding on the rollers, following which he will ease back into training on the road. He will hopefully be in a position to race again in early September but we will continue to monitor his recovery and adjust this plan accordingly."
De Marchi had a strong ride in the breakaway on stage 8, holding onto eventual stage winner Thomas de Gendt's wheel until the final climb. He was understandably disappointed to leave the race.
"I'm really sorry to leave the Tour de France without having won a stage, which was my big goal. I'm disappointed to interrupt my tradition of finishing Grand Tours, as this will be the first time I abandon one. I'm fortunate that my injuries are not worse than they are, I've had a chance to speak to my family, and I'm in good hands here at the hospital. I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike as soon as possible," De Marchi said.