Remco Evenepoel crashed and fell several meters from a bridge during the Il Lombardia race.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider was part of a leading group descending the Colma di Sormano – the highest climb of the race.
The 20-year-old was in fourth place in the group when he hit the wall of a bridge before jumping onto his back and over the edge.
Evenepoel was taken care of by paramedics and taken to hospital.
The Belgian is one of the most promising prospects in road cycling, winning the Tour of Poland and the Volta in Burgos already this year.
The one-day monument race from Bergamo to Como was won by Jakob Fuglsang of Astana after breaking up with George Bennett of Jumbo-Visma – himself in good shape after winning the one-day race of the Gran Piedmont in Italy last week.
They were on the run with Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the Grand Tour, and Bauke Mollema, winner of Il Lombardia last year, both from Trek-Segafredo.
In another bizarre twist at the end of the race, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Max Schachmann was hit by a car which somehow entered the closed roads and drove through the then German winner Paris-Nice. that he was trying to park.
Quick Step’s second horrific injury in a week
The Tour of Poland was also the race where Evenepoel’s teammate Fabio Jakobsen last week suffered a huge crash in a massive sprint on stage one.
Jakobsen was hospitalized and placed in an induced coma as well as plastic surgery on his face.
The crash was caused when Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen leaned towards Jakobsen, knocking him down through barriers which shattered and saw the sprinter hit a pole and a bystander, who also needed hospital treatment.
This elicited a backlash, leading Jakobsen’s team leader to call Groenewegen to jail.
Jakobsen has since been transferred to a hospital in his native Netherlands to continue his recovery.
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den / Astana) 5 hours 32 minutes 54 seconds
2. George Bennett (NZ / Jumbo-Visma) + 31secs
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus / Astana) + 51secs
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned / Trek-Segafredo) + 1min 19secs
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita / Trek-Segafredo) + 1min 40secs
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita / Trek-Segafredo) + 3min 31secs
7. Max Schachmann (Ger / Bora-Hansgrohe) + 4mins 31secs
8. Diego Ulysses (Oui / UAE Team Emirates) + 5min 20secs
9. Ben Hermans (Bel / Israel Start-Up Nation) + 6 minutes
10. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned / Alpecin-Fenix) + 6mins 28secs