The stage race was Dean's first back following a fractured shoulder suffered at the GreenEdge training camp in the Australian Alps in early December. Wednesday's accident took place just 10 kilometres into the shortened queen stage. Dean was swerving to avoid riders who had crashed ahead of him on the slippery road, following horrific weather conditions in the Pyrenees, when he collided with a parked car.
The result was two severe breaks, but in some positive news, an MRI scan revealed that no soft tissue damage had occurred.
"The breaks will need to be plated and screwed but the good news is there's no other damage, that would have been a totally different ball game," Dean's wife Carole told Fairfax Media.
"He's pretty good morale-wise, looking forward to getting it [surgery] over and done with and getting on with rehabilitation."
Thirsty-seven-year-old Dean, speaking to the Daily Post from his hospital bed in Valencia, explained that the injury would not necessarily result in his retirement.
"I want to keep going ... a big part of me doesn't want it to end this way but you can't make any rash decisions now. We have to take it step by step."