The television cameras captured the horrifying crash of Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors) on the descent of the Sormano in Il Lombardia on Saturday, but missed three more incidents of riders falling into the same ravine.
According to the race's medical report, Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) and Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina), were more seriously injured than De Plus, who was treated in the Cantù hospital for contusions to his right knee and quickly released.
Bakelants was the most seriously injured, having sustained back trauma after falling deeper into the ravine than De Plus. He underwent examinations at the Sant'Anna hospital in Como.
The AG2R La Mondiale squad later confirmed that Bakelants was in stable condition, breathing and moving without assistance and conscious. Team doctor Eric Bouvat said, "After an x-ray and CT scan, the following injuries have been detected: Seven rib fractures, though without any impact on the lungs. A compression-fracture of the first lumbar vertebra and the third lumbar vertebra, the latter of which will require additional examination. An MRI will be carried out tomorrow."
Petilli is being kept under observation at a hospital in Varese, having sustained a concussion and laceration to his forehead as well as contusions to his right shoulder and hip. His team later stated that the 24-year-old suffered a fracture of the right occipital condyle (a fracture in the neck that can be potentially fatal if not discovered), a fracture of the right transverse process of the D1 vertebra, a broken right collarbone and a broken right shoulder blade, in addition to wounds near the right eye."
Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina) also crashed in the same location and had injuries to his left side. He was taken to the hospital in Erba for examinations but the team confirmed on Twitter that he had escaped any fractures and would start the Presidential Tour of Turkey as planned.
The descent from the Sormano starts with 50km to go in Il Lombardia, and despite the favourable weather, the steep, technical nature of the downhill makes it one of the most dangerous stretches of road on the WorldTour calendar.
The particular corner where De Plus first crashed, near the bottom of the descent, has an arc that is obscured by a stone wall and a treacherous decreasing radius that can catch even the world's best riders by surprise.
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