Tom Pidcock is recovering from surgery on his fractured collarbone which his coach Kurt Bogaerts revealed came as a result of a driver hitting him while he was riding at speed while training in the French Pyrenees on Monday.
According to Sporza, Bogaerts said Pidcock was hit side-on by the driver while he was riding at "a fairly high speed at the start of a descent".
"We don't know what exactly happened, but Tom was hit from the side by a car," Bogaerts said after a photo of Pidcock's broken Pinarello bike was published on social media on Wednesday.
"Due to the impact, he was catapulted over the car. His bicycle partially absorbed the impact and broke into two pieces," Bogaerts was reported as saying.
"The most important thing was to take him to a hospital immediately. He has already had surgery on his collarbone in Girona and has already left the hospital."
According to Bogaerts, Pidcock underwent thorough examinations including his internal organs to make sure that the collarbone was his only injury.
"Because with such a heavy impact you never know. He has been lucky all in all. But Tom is positive and is already looking ahead."
The 21-year-old Briton has already impressed in his first WorldTour season, winning Brabantse Pijl and taking a close second in the Amstel Gold Race behind Wout van Aert.
He raced his first elite mountain bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, claiming fifth after starting on the back row. With a better position in the subsequent Nové Mesto race, Pidcock showed his quality by defeating Mathieu van der Poel and Mathias Flueckiger by more than a minute to secure a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.
Pidcock was due to race the Tour de Suisse but will now focus on a return at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets on July 4 and then his main goal of the summer, the cross country race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 26.
"Of course Switzerland comes too early, but the World Cup mountain bike race in Les Gets and the Olympic Games must be feasible," Bogaerts said.
"The Tour of Switzerland was in his preparation so as not to make the run-up to Tokyo too boring. With normal training he will get ready for the Olympics just as well. It won't be boring, it's now just another road to Tokyo."
Pidcock has a history of quick recovery from injury, having suffered serious injuries in a crash at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2019. He then bounced back to take third in the U23 road race at the Worlds in Yorkshire a month later.
"The situation was much more complex then, but he still finished third in the U23 World Championships. That gives us confidence that it is now feasible," Bogaerts said.
"We are now mainly going to work sensibly. We must try to preserve the condition he has and we must be attentive to inflammation on the wound or other complications."
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