Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was left battered and bruised and out of the 2014 Eneco Tour after being the victim of a high-speed crash in sight of the line in Ardooie at the end of the fourth stage.
The Czech rider was pushed into the road-side barriers after Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Giant-Shimano) went down hard in the middle of the road, forcing other riders to take evasive action. He hit the exposed feet of the road-side barriers and went over the top of his bike, landing on his face. His bike spun in the air and came down on a Cannondale rider. Several other riders were also involved, while many of Stybar's teammates stopped to check on his condition.
Stybar was reached quickly by the race doctors, who bandaged his facial injuries and put him in a neck brace. He remained conscious during his treatment, often moving his arms and legs. However, he was unable to finish the stage and was eventually taken to hospital for further treatment.
Before the crash Stybar was fifth overall in the Eneco Tour after winning stage 2 to Vlijmen, giving the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team its 50th victory of the 2104 season. Stybar won the Eneco Tour in 2013.
A few hours after the day's stage, Omega Pharma Quick Step gave an update on Stybar's condition. "Results of the examination showed deep wounds on the upper and lower lip, as well as broken teeth. He had radiological examinations, as well as scans, which showed no fractures or cerebral lesions."
Stybar is spending the night in the hospital under observation.