Remco Evenpoel suffered a hair-raising crash during the final 50km of racing at Il Lombardia after losing control on the descent of the Muro di Sormano, hitting the stone wall of a bridge, and falling into the ravine below.
Deceuninck-Quickstep confirmed Saturday evening that the 20-year-old suffered a fractured pelvis and bruised lung in the crash.
Team manager Patrick Lefevere told media at the Como hospital that Evenepoel is unlikely to race again in 2020, explaining the fracture was at the head of his femur and in the pelvic area.
Italian RAI television reported that Evenepoel was conscious as medics arrived. Photos showed medics placing him in a precautionary neck brace and transporting him to a waiting ambulance.
The team said that Evenepoel, who won all four stage races he started this season: Tour de Pologne, the Vuelta a Burgos and, pre-pandemic, the Volta ao Algarve and Vuelta a San Juan – will be "on the sidelines for the upcoming period". He was expected to lead Deceuninck-Quickstep in Tirreno-Adriatico next month and the Giro d'Italia in October.
Evenepoel will remain in the hospital overnight under observation, before traveling back to Belgium on Sunday.
The descent of the Sormano is known as one of the fastest and most technical on the professional circuit. In the 2017 edition of Il Lombardia, several riders crashed into a ravine on a different part of the descent.
Jan Bakelants, Laurens de Plus, Simone Petilli and Daniel Martinez were all injured in the 2017 crashes.
Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Davide Bramati spoke to Sporza about Evenepoel's crash. He was with him soon after the crash.
"We didn’t see the fall ourselves, we only heard about it on the race radio. When we saw that Remco's data had stopped, we already thought it was him. When we got there, all I saw was his bike. A bike without a rider, that's not a pleasant sight," he said.
"I walked straight down and quickly saw that he was okay. He could talk and said he had pain in his right side. He's in the hospital now, with the doctor, Patrick [Lefevere] and his family. I think he'll be all right. But may the bad luck stop for us now,” Bramati said, referring to Fabio Jakobsen's crash at the Tour de Pologne.
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