Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart has been hospitalized after being “seriously injured” in a crash on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider, the 2020 champion, suffered the accident in wet conditions on a descent when about 70km of the longest stage of the race remained.
Geoghegan Hart, third overall, was pictured being loaded into an ambulance following a breakdown.
His team said on Twitter: “We are disappointed that @taogeoghegan is forced to retire from #giro after an accident on stage 11.”
“The Brit will go to hospital for a check-up and we will have further updates in due course.”
Teammate and overall race leader Geraint Thomas was also involved in the multi-bike accident but was able to continue alongside Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic.
Thomas said after the race: “As always, we were fighting for position, a man from the United Arab Emirates crashed next to me. I don’t know exactly who was taken out after me.
“We were pretty much in the same place. Unfortunately, Tao is badly injured. It’s obviously a great loss. He was doing very well. He was in a really great position and it’s very unfortunate to lose him like that.”
Thomas retains the pink jersey as overall leader with a two second lead over Roglic.
Pascal Ackermann, riding for UAE Team Emirates, clinched victory on stage 11 after triumphing thanks to a photo finish in Tortona, crossing the finish line just ahead of Jonathan Milan.
This year’s race was beset with problems as poor weather combined with an outbreak of the coronavirus that has now seen 13 riders retired.
Soudal Quick-Step riders Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo retired last Wednesday.