The start of stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia was delayed and then deviated onto a different road for the official start after a driver apparently ignored orders and entered the closed route of the stage near Agrigento. A motorbike pilot was seriously injured.
Initial reports suggested the motorcycle was part of the official race convoy but these were corrected, with the motorbike piloted by a local cycling judge who, like the car driver, should not have been on the closed race route.
According to reports in Italian media, the incident occurred near kilometre zero of the 153km stage before the official start on the outskirts of Agrigento. A 70-year-old driver apparently ignored orders not to drive onto the course and then hit the motorcycle.
The 48-year-old victim from Agrigento was flown to hospital by helicopter and underwent emergency surgery to treat a brain hemorrhage and numerous broken ribs. He is reportedly in a critical condition. Italian police have opened an investigation and the car driver was taken to a local police station for questioning.
The incident caused a 15-minute delay to the start of the stage, with the race eventually taking a slightly different road so the rescue helicopter could land on the main road. However, the stage continued towards the finish in Santa Ninfa, where Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the stage.