Bart De Clercq rode out the Tour de Suisse with a collapsed lung, and is now in hospital for several days. Despite the pain, the Lotto-Belisol rider managed to finish 12th on the final stage and 14th overall.
He crashed during the race, and complained on Saturday about the pain, but it didn't stop him from being his team's top finisher on the difficult final mountain stage.
The 25-year-old will now spend three or four days in hospital, and will probably have to wait another two or three weeks before resuming training.
“A normal lung is right up against the rib cage,” team doctor Jan Mathieu said on the team website. “When air gets stuck between the lung and the ribs, the lung collapses inward and reduces lung capacity.”
The lung is now operating normally again, “but now comes the recovery, of course,” Mathieu said.
“I must say it is phenomenal that Bart was able to put in such a performance on Sunday.”