The Slovenian was descending the Passo Godi as part of an early breakaway on stage 9, when he was sent head over heels on a left-hand bend.
It appeared that Mohoric hit a crack in the road and was knocked off balance. He initially stayed upright but then appeared to hit the rock-bed on the inside of the corner and was sent somersaulting, landing on his head.
When his bike hit the ground, it did so with such force that the fork snapped clean off. The front wheel still had half the fork attacked, while the rest of the bike lay a few metres away.
After slumping by the barriers on the right-hand side of the road, Mohoric got to his feet and appeared to be considering remounting and carrying on, as a replacement bike was readied for him.
However, it was soon decided he was unfit to continue, and he was placed into a neck brace and into the ambulance.
"Matej was brought to the nearest hospital to undergo further assessment. We’re certainly talking about a concussion, but I can reassure you by saying that he was always conscious," team doctor Daniele Zaccaria told Italian TV station Rai.
"He spoke with the mechanic and directeur sportifs after the crash. They told me he asked them to call his girlfriend, so he could remember her phone number, which made me a bit calmer about the situation. The impact was significant, so he will undergo x-rays too to make sure he hasn’t fractured any bones."
New concussion protocols for this season dictate that a rider who is suspected to have suffered a head impact should be assessed by the first people to respond to the scene of a crash, such as sport directors, mechanics, other riders or coaches.
Training for concussion monitoring is being widely rolled out and two or more mild symptoms or one moderate to severe symptom would indicate a high probability of a concussion and would trigger further evaluation. Symptoms include feeling stunned or dazed, trouble with balance, headaches, slurred speech, changes in vision.
Mohoric is the second rider to abandon the 2021 Giro through concussion after Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) left the race on stage 5. The American crashed in the finale of stage 4 and, although he completed the final few metres, he was tested again in the morning and did not start stage 5.
The loss of Mohoric is a further blow to Bahrain Victorious after they lost their leader Mikel Landa in the same crash as Dombrowski. The team bounced back to win stage 6 through Gino Mader, who wears the blue jersey as leader of the king of the mountains classification, while they also have Damiano Caruso in the top-10 overall and Pello Bilbao in the top 21.
"Oh my word!" 😳Matej Mohorič takes an awful fall - ouch! #Giro pic.twitter.com/lhWTvDIqBxMay 16, 2021
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