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Vingegaard suffered lung damage in crash

Barcelona (AFP) – Two-time Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard suffered lung damage during a horrific mass crash in the Tour of the Basque Country race, his team said Friday.

The injuries pose a question mark over Vingegaard’s hopes of recording a third successive Tour de France triumph this summer, with the race beginning on June 29 in Florence, Italy.

The Danish rider, 27, was taken to hospital after the crash on Thursday in the fourth stage of the race and initially diagnosed with a broken collarbone and several broken ribs.

However, his team Visma-Lease a Bike issued an update on Friday morning saying the injuries were far more serious than that.

“Further examination in the hospital revealed that he also suffered a pulmonary contusion and pneumothorax,” they said.

“He is stable and had a good night. He remains in hospital.”

The horror crash occurred with around 35 kilometres to go in the run from Etxarri Aranatz to Legutio.

Other stars were involved in the crash including Remco Evenepoel, who suffered a broken collarbone, and Primoz Roglic, who abandoned the race but did not sustain any fractures.

Vingegaard, who won the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Tour de France, was put into a neck brace and given breathing aid, spending several minutes prone in a safety position before being taken into an ambulance on a stretcher.

“Over the radio we heard that Jonas was involved in a big crash,” said Visma sports director Addy Engels.

“We immediately saw that it didn’t look good when we arrived to him.”

Last week Visma rider Wout van Aert suffered similar injuries in another bad crash at the Around Flanders one-day race.

Roglic, who also fell on Wednesday in stage three but quickly recovered, was leading the overall standings from Evenepoel by seven seconds at the start of racing on Thursday.

With many star names out of the race, Mattias Skjelmose is the new general classification leader, four seconds ahead of Juan Ayuso.

Friday’s fifth and penultimate stage is a 175.9km ride north from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Amorebieta-Etxano.

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