Belgian rider Daan Myngheer, 22, of the Roubaix Lille Métropole team has been transported to a specialist cardiac unit in Ajaccio, Corsica after suffering a heart attack during the morning road race stage of Criterium International.
Myngheer reportedly lost contact with the peloton with 25km of the flat stage remaining. He was quickly reached by medical staff on the race and then suffered a heart attack while in an ambulance. He was put on life support and transported to the Ajaccio hospital.
Race organiser ASO confirmed what had happened to the AFP news agency, with race director Christian Prudhomme saying: "His condition is stable, it is less worrying than this morning, but we have to be prudent," Prudhomme told AFP.
Myngheer turned professional last year with Team Verandas Willems before joining Roubaix Lille Metropole this season. He was part of the under-23 Belgian team for the world road race championships in Richmond.
His teammate Rudy Barbier finished second in the morning stage of the Criterium International, apparently unaware of what had happened to his teammate. Barbier won the recent Cholet - Pays De Loire race, with Myngheer part of the team that helped during the French one-day race.
"He was not feeling well," teammate Louis Verhelst, who was also dropped during this first stage because of a knee injury, told Belgian television RTBF.
"For now, he's in a coma. This is serious, very serious. The team had to make a statement to the police. This is the normal procedure, we explained things. We hope to learn more about Daan’s condition very soon.”