Giro d'Italia rider in hospital after helicopter blows barriers over

Giro d’Italia rider in hospital with suspected back fracture, a broken nose and concussion after a low-flying HELICOPTER sends barriers flying onto the course

  • Luca Wackermann forced to withdraw from Giro d’Italia with multiple injuries 
  • It follows a big crash in Tuesday’s fourth stage caused by a low-flying helicopter
  • Crash brought down Wackermann and Etienne van Empel of Vini Zabu-KTM team
  • A barrier was blown over by draught from helicopter and struck the two riders

Italian Luca Wackermann was forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia with multiple injuries following a big crash in Tuesday’s fourth stage caused by a low-flying helicopter.

The crash, which brought down Wackermann and Dutchman Etienne van Empel of the Vini Zabu-KTM team, happened at the end of the stage when a barrier was blown over by the draught from the helicopter and struck the two riders.

A statement from the Italian team said Wackermann, 28, had suffered concussion due to a head injury, as well as a fracture of the nasal bones, multiple contusions to the face, on the chin and on the right knee.

Luca Wackermann is in hospital with a suspected back fracture, a broken nose and concussion following crash during the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia caused by a low-flying helicopter

Crash happened when barrier was blown over by draught from helicopter and hit two riders

He also sustained multiple bruises to his arms and legs and a suspected back fracture.

‘Wackermann will spend the night in the hospital kept under observation and losing that chance to live a dream vanished because of an episode that could have brought some heavier consequences,’ added the statement. 

The Vini Zabu-KTM team posted an update on Wackermann alongside a photo of him in a hospital bed, writing on Twitter: ‘Hurted, bruised, taped, but this is a beautiful smile.’

The crash brought down Wackermann and Dutchman Etienne van Empel, who provided an update on his Twitter page, of the Vini Zabu-KTM team

Van Empel also provided an update on his situation following the crash on Tuesday. He wrote on Twitter: ‘I am OK. Only some small cuts on my fingers. Not really sure what happened but out of nowhere the barriers flew into our group. 

‘For now my thoughts are with my team-mate Luca and hope some good news will arrive soon.’

The latest crash comes after Geraint Thomas withdrew from the Giro d’Italia with a fractured pelvis following his crash during Monday’s stage three to Mount Etna.

Thomas, the pre-race favourite, hit the deck hard when he rode over a water bottle which rolled across the road during the neutralised roll out at the start of the stage in Enna.  

The latest crash comes after Geraint Thomas withdrew from the Giro d’Italia with a fractured pelvis following his crash during Monday’s stage three to Mount Etna

Thomas (left) cycles over the water bottle during the neutralised roll out at start of stage three 




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