Vingegaard broke collarbone in terrible Basque Country crash. EUROSPORT'S FRAME

Two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard suffered a broken collarbone and several broken ribs in a devastating multi-rider crash during the fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Thursday.

The accident involved a group of 12 cyclists, some of whom are part of the 'golden generation' of cycling, who crashed into a concrete ditch after losing control on a bend about 35 kilometres from the finish. The incident took place on the stage from Etxarri Aranatz to Legutio in northern Spain.

Due to his injuries, Jonas Vingegaard will miss the upcoming one-day classics in the Netherlands and Belgium. Despite the severity of Vingegaard's injuries, there was a sense of relief that they were not more serious.

"Jonas is conscious and is now being examined in hospital," said his team Visma-Lease a Bike. "It was a terrible crash, but fortunately he is in a stable condition and conscious. Tests at the hospital have revealed that he has suffered a broken collarbone and several ribs. "He remains under observation in hospital," the team added on X.

In the team's latest update on Vingegaard's condition, at eleven on the Friday morning, his team said: "Further examination in the hospital revealed that he also suffered a lung contusion and pneumothorax. He is stable and had a good night. He remains in hospital."

Vingegaard, who won the Tour de France in 2022 and 2023, was stretchered to an ambulance. Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel was able to walk, but his team, Soudal-Quick Step, confirmed that he would also be taken to hospital for assessment. 

"Remco will return to Belgium tomorrow to undergo surgery on a broken collarbone and pass further tests at the Herentals hospital," remarked Soudal-Quick Step. 

Other notable cyclists involved in the crash and subsequently taken to the hospital included Jay Vine and Steff Cras, both of whom are conscious and talking, according to their teams. Primoz Roglic was also involved in the incident and did not finish the stage.

Louis Meintjes won the stage ahead of Reuben Thompson in second and Vacek Karel in third. "It's not the way you want to win. If there had been a challenge for the break, I would have been ready to fight for the stage. (What happened) is unfortunate, it takes the joy out of it, maybe it's a win, but it doesn't feel like one," South African Intermarche-Wanty rider Meintjes told Eurosport.

"The race will be neutralised until the finish line, the six leading riders will compete in the stage, but the stage times will not count towards the general classification," the race organisers stated. Friday's fifth stage is 175.9 kilometres long and will see the riders head north from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Amorebieta-Etxano.