Max Walscheid is in hospital after being hit by a car driver while training in his native Germany on Thursday.
The Cofidis rider was airlifted to the nearest hospital after the “violent” collision. He does not appear to have suffered any serious injuries but is being kept in hospital as further tests are carried out.
Walscheid raced the Classic Brugge-De Panne in Belgium on Wednesday and was out on a recovery ride near his home in Franken when a car suddenly swerved and drove into him, as he explained in a statement from Cofidis.
"I was on a quiet road, in perfect conditions. Luckily, I wasn’t going very fast, and I was at the side of the road. A car came from the opposite direction. It turned suddenly to the right, without indicating, drove at me and crashed into me. I didn’t even have time to do anything about it," Walscheid said.
"I was hit head-on. I went up above the car and I fell a few meters away - luckily on the verge and not on the tarmac. My bike was completely destroyed, 10 metres away. People quickly came to help me - the ambulance and police as well. I was then taken to hospital and admitted to the emergency unit where they carried out scans on my whole body."
So far, no broken bones have been detected and he did not lose consciousness. However, given the violence of the impact, he is being kept in hospital under observation, with further tests scheduled on his head, lungs, and heart.
Walscheid rued the fact his rich vein of form had been blown up in the air, having won the recent GP de Denain and placed second at Nokere Koerese. However, above all, he considered himself lucky to be alive.
"The first thing on my mind is that I was incredibly lucky to survive this accident,” Walscheid said.
"I still can’t believe that I was able to come off without more severe injuries. It’s beyond belief. At the same time, it’s very tough because I was going well in the races, with good results and the potential to do more. But right now I prefer, above all, to be pleased to still be alive."
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.