Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert emerged unscathed after a horrific crash during Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.
Gilbert, who rides with the Quick-Step Cycling team, was descending the Col de Portet-d’Aspet and leading the breakaway when he took an aggressive line on a turn.
As his back wheel began to falter, GIlbert lost control of his bike. He failed to stop, managing to unclip before his bike crashed into a low stone wall. He went careening headfirst over the handlebars and tumbled into a ravine.
NSCSN said in a tweeted statement on Tuesday, “Scary moment as Philippe Gilbert crashed while descending the Portet d’Aspet. Good news: he is back on his bike and racing. #TDF2018.”
The particular pass marks the location where cyclist Fabio Casartelli fatally crashed during the 1995 Tour de France. Casartelli was not wearing a helmet and sustained significant head and face injuries during the crash, succumbing to his injuries in the helicopter on the way to the hospital.
Gilbert miraculously sustained no serious injuries, considering the speed he was going and how he went over the handlebars of his bike. He received support climbing back up to the roadway, resulting in doctors attending to him immediately.
He had a bloody elbow and knee, but was able to get back on his bike and continue the Tour.
Spectators were inspired to see Gilbert emerge from the crash with just a few scrapes, since it could have been so much worse.
His team shared a supportive message on Twitter, in addition to Team Sky, saying, “You gave us quite the scare, @PhilippeGilbert. Several minutes after crashing, Philippe is back on the bike and in the race.#TDF2018”
Team Sky added, “We’re relieved to see Philippe Gilbert back up and racing after a bad crash while descending the Portet d’Aspet. Great to see a thumbs up as he gets back on the bike.”