According to AD.nl (opens in new tab), Jumbo-Visma rider Milan Vader was taken to a hospital in Bilbao, Spain after suffering serious injuries in a crash during stage 5 of the Itzulia Basque Country WorldTour race.
The Dutch outlet confirmed with Vader’s father Patrick that Milan, 26, was operated on immediately to insert stents into his carotid artery to preserve blood flow to his brain. He also suffered broken vertebrae, a fractured collarbone and shoulder blade, and is under anaesthesia. Team doctor Robert Kempers is with Vader in the hospital while Vader’s parents left for Spain to be at his side.
According to the team, Vader was in stable condition following surgery.
Vader was involved in a larger incident with around 15 riders in the first 70 kilometres and reportedly crashed over the guard rail. Photos showed the Dutchman down a grassy hillside away from the race route.
The television cameras following the Itzulia Basque Country also showed a later incident involving Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco), who also crashed over a guard rail on the descent from the Gonitzagaraigana climb with 68km remaining in the 163.8km stage. Hamilton landed in a tree, avoiding a much more precipitous drop.
Vader, a former mountain biker, is in his first professional season with Jumbo-Visma after finishing top 10 in the Olympic Games cross-country race behind winner Tom Pidcock.
Both the crash of Vader and Hamilton evoked the 2020 crash of new Itzulia race leader Remco Evenepoel who fell over a low stone wall during the descent from the Sormano in Il Lombardia and suffered a fractured pelvis.