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Matej Mohoric: The helmet saved my life

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) will spend a week off the bike after escaping with only minor injuries from his horrific crash at the Giro d'Italia on Sunday. 

The Slovenian was sent head over heels when he lost control of his bike on the descent of the Passo Godi on stage 9, hitting the road with his head before his bike landed and snapped in two.

Despite initially appearing ready to rejoin the race, he was subsequently placed into a neck brace and ambulance, with concussion immediately suspected but tests and X-rays required at hospital. 

On Friday, the Bahrain Victorious team issued an update on Mohorič's condition, confirming that he is "healthy and escaped the crash with a slight concussion and minor bruising." 

The team said they had been working with bike supplier Merida to investigate the cause of the crash, but Mohorič was able to explain it in some detail.

"We entered the corner on the limit at high speed," he said. 

"My racing line wasn’t perfect as I didn’t take all the road. I planned to overtake Gino [Mader] at the exit and go into the front. The corner surprised me, and it was closer than expected. I lost traction on my rear wheel due to the high speed. I was able to catch the bike, but doing so, I was closer to the corner on my left. 

"Usually, I wouldn’t crash, but due to the curb, I clipped it with my left pedal, which is evident from the damage. Because of that, my bike went completely sideways, and I hit the curb with my front wheel. Luckily the bike absorbed all the energy as it the fork split, which is why I’ve come out of this crash with only minor bruises and a slight concussion."

Mohorič considered himself fortunate to only suffer minor injuries and a minor concussion that will keep him out for a week, with some head impacts taking much longer to recover from. 

He returned to his home in Monaco on Wednesday and will look ahead to the next races, which could include his 'home' Tour of Slovenia next month, and possibly the Tour de France later in June. 

"After the crash, I felt a bit of pain and adrenaline rush, but I feel good and will be back training in a week after undergoing the UCI concussion protocol," Mohorič said. 

"These crashes always show the importance of wearing a helmet. I’d like to thank our partner Rudy Project, as the helmet saved my life."

Mohorič was just one loss in what has been a crash-ridden Giro for Bahrain Victorious. They also lost their leader Mikel Landa to a late crash on stage 5 and, although they bounced back to win stage 6 with Gino Mader - with Mohoric playing a huge part in that victory - Mader himself abandoned on stage 12 after crashing heavily the previous day. 

The team continue with five riders in the race, with Damiano Caruso going well in third overall.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.