Geraint Thomas of Barloworld went over the edge during Sunday's Tirreno-Adriatico time trial in Macerata. Despite a horrific-looking crash, he was able to leave the hospital and return to the team hotel that evening.
The Briton had the second best time at the first time check, but shortly thereafter, "he misjudged the trajectory of a right turn on downhill, hit the guard rail and dropped for several metres," said Directeur Sportif Valerio Tebaldi. "It appeared really bad at the time."
X-rays at the hospital in Macerata showed the injuries only to be bruises, a broken nose and broken pelvis ischium (in the pelvis-hip joint).
"It could have been a much worse diagnosis," said team doctor Massimiliano Mantovani. "He will need 20 days of complete rest, but tonight he will spend the night at the hotel with the team."
Thomas, 22, won the gold medal in the team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics last summer. He has been with Barloworld since 2007. (SW)