ORVIETO, Italy (VN) – Rabobank rider Tom Jelte Slagter will stay overnight in an Italian hospital for observation, but avoided serious injury despite a heavy fall with about 15km to go in Wednesday’s fifth stage at the Giro d’Italia.
In a harrowing scene just two days following the death of Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek), the 21-year-old grand tour rookie lie motionless after slamming hard on the pavement after it appeared that he crossed wheels while riding in the front group.
Rabobank officials confirmed Wednesday that Slagter was not seriously injured despite the initial fears.
“We was taken to a hospital in Orvieto and had a CAT scan. There is no brain damage,” said Rabobank team spokesman Luuk Eisiger. “He has a fracture on his jaw, some contusions and stitches to his face. He stay in the hospital overnight. Our team doctor is with him and we will take it day-to-day when he can get transported back to the Netherlands.”
Doctors attended to Slagter for several minutes while everyone held their collective breath because the scene brought back the horrible memories of Weylandt’s death just 48 hours before. He was transported via ambulance to a hospital to Orvieto. In fact, the ambulance roared through the finish line area during the post-stage podium award ceremony.