Christian Vande Velde was forced to abandon the Giro d'Italia after falling during Monday's stage three, having sustained two broken ribs and a severe contusion and sprain to his middle back.
The American, who was leading Garmin-Slipstream's charge to a possible maglia rosa in this year's edition, will return to Girona as soon as possible for further examination.
Garmin-Slipstream staff haven't indicated a prognosis on his expected recovery time, although it certainly disrupts his preparations for July's Tour de France, which he was using the Giro d'Italia as vital preparation for.
Meanwhile, in a more positive development for Jonathan Vaughters' squad, young American sprinter Tyler Farrar took second on the stage to Valdobbiadene to take the white jersey as the Giro's best young rider.
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