Movistar's Juan Mauricio Soler has crashed out of the Tour de Suisse on the 157.7km sixth stage from Tobel-Tägerschen to Triesenberg/Malbun. The Colombian collided with a spectator and was airlifted from the course with a suspected fractured skull and has been placed in a medically induced coma, according to Reuters. The spectator suffered minor injuries.
According to information provided by his Movistar team, Soler's initial medical tests confirmed a severe head trauma with a cerebral edema and multiple fractures and bruising. He is being treated in the intensive care unit of the hospital, where doctors will carry out further tests to check the progress of his injuries.
Doctors placed him in a medically induced coma in order to perform surgery on his fractured skull. "He has serious injuries, but we can not say now if his life is in danger," said Dr. Robert Kretsch.
Soler was lying in second overall on the general classification at the time of his accident, 54 seconds behind race leader Damiano Cunego.
The crash came four days following Soler's stage victory on Crans-Montana, which he dedicated to his fallen teammate Xavier Tondo, who died in a freak accident at his home in Spain.
Soler's collision came 33km into the stage, and race organisers neutralised the race while doctors attended to him. The race was re-started at kilometre 46.