Young Italian racer Claudia Cretti (Valcar PBM) was seriously injured in a crash during stage 7 of the Giro Rosa on Thursday. The 21-year-old was airlifted to the hospital in Rummo in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury.
An update provided by the race organisation reported that Cretti underwent surgery last night to relieve intracranial pressure, and she remains in critical but stable condition. She is being kept in a medically-induced coma.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the crash occurred on a technical descent known as 'Zingara Morta', near Fragneto Monforte in Benevento, where riders hit speeds of 90km/h. Cretti was reportedly getting bidons from the team car before the crash occurred in a bend.
In addition to her more serious injuries, Cretti sustained a fractured collarbone.
Cretti had also fallen during stage 2, but rebounded to finish in the top 10 in the sprint on stage 4.
Several of the top Italian pros sent encouraging messages to Cretti via Twitter, including Tour de France third-placed rider Fabio Aru (Astana), Daniele Bennati and Elia Viviani, as well as many of her fellow female competitors including Ashleigh Moolman, Emma Johansson and Molly Weaver.