Daniel Navarro (Katusha-Alpecin) suffered a litany of injuries after getting caught up in the mass pile-up at the end of stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia, which also forced Tom Dumoulin to abandon. The Spaniard was left with a perforated lung, three broken ribs, a broken collarbone, as well as further injuries to his lung.
Navarro was one of four Katusha-Alpecin riders to be involved in the crash, with Marco Haller, Reto Hollenstein and Vyacheslav Kuznetsov also coming down. Haller injured his hand in the incident, but a subsequent x-ray showed that he had not fractured any bones.
All three of the other Katusha-Alpecin riders were able to complete the stage, though the same couldn’t be said for Navarro, who abandoned the race immediately. He was taken to hospital, where he underwent scans and stayed overnight.
The crash occurred with just over six kilometres to go of stage 4 when Salvatore Puccio (Team Ineos) touched wheels with a rider in front. The accident occurred close to the front of the peloton, which meant that most of the bunch were either involved in it or caught behind it. Katusha-Alpecin were to the right of the bunch, on the opposite side to Puccio, but the ricochet effect meant that half their team was wiped out.
Navarro was meant to be a key support rider for Ilnur Zakarin when the race hit the high mountains. The Spaniard, who spent several years supporting Alberto Contador at Astana and Saxo Bank, joined the team over the winter from Cofidis as they looked to shore up their squad around Zakarin. The loss of Navarro will be a blow to the Russian.
Fortunately for the team, Zakarin avoided too much trouble in the incident and finished in the main group of general classification riders that crossed the line 18 seconds behind the winner Richard Carapaz. Zakarin still has work to do in the mountains as he sits 18th, 1:36 down on race leader Primož Roglič, after a poor start in the opening time trial.