British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart suffered a fractured hip and will need surgery after being involved in a crash during stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.
The Ineos Grenadiers racer, the 2020 champion, was involved in a multi-bike crash in wet conditions on a downhill with around 70km remaining in the longest stretch of the race.
Geoghegan Hart, who sat third in the overall standings, was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after receiving roadside treatment.
After being taken to hospital for more tests, the Ineos Grenadiers team confirmed that Geoghegan Hart was set for a longer period of recovery.
“Immediately following his involvement in a crash during today’s stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, Tao Geoghegan Hart was transported to a local hospital in Genoa,” the team said. “Upon further assessment, imaging confirmed that Tao had sustained a fracture to his left hip which will require surgery.
“Tao, the thoughts and best wishes of all your fellow Grenadiers are with you tonight. We wish you a speedy recovery and know you have what it takes to come back even stronger!”
Hart’s teammate and overall race leader Geraint Thomas was also involved in the incident, but was able to continue alongside his nearest challenger Primoz Roglic.
Thomas said after the race: “As usual we were jostling for position, a guy from the UAE crashed next to me. I don’t know exactly who was brought out after me.
– We were pretty much in the same place. Unfortunately, Tao is badly injured. It is obviously a great loss. He was doing very well. He was in a really good position and it’s very unfortunate to lose him like this.”
Shortly afterwards, Movistar rider Óscar Rodríguez suffered a scary crash, coming into contact with a road sign and almost hitting a house.
Pascal Ackermann (UAE-Team Emirates) won after a dramatic four-man sprint, with Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) overtaking Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) only for Germany’s Ackermann to come through on the inside.
Jonathan Milan (Bahrain-Victorious), the 22-year-old who currently leads the points classification, continued his impressive Giro form with a late solo surge for second, pushing Cavendish down to third after the longest stage of the year, a 291km journey from Camaiore.
Laurenz Rex (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) was the last man standing from the early breakaway, but the Belgian was caught with 2km to go. Moments later, another crash split the peloton, leaving a reduced group to contest the sprint.
This year’s weather-affected Giro has suffered several high-profile withdrawals, with former race leader Remco Evenepoel having to abandon after testing positive for Covid. A further round of tests were carried out on the riders and staff which showed that the Soudal Quick-Step quartet of Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo had also contracted Covid.