Belgian cyclist Stijn Steels has suffered three broken ribs, two broken vertebrae and a contused lung after a hard fall at Ghent Six last night at the inaugural madison.
Steel’s road team, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, confirmed the extent of his injuries this morning on social media, but said no surgery or further intervention was required.
A team statement (opens in a new tab) read: “After his accident at Zesdaagse Geent, Stijn Steels was examined last night. He has a contused lung, three broken ribs and two vertebrae.
“The fractures are stable and, at this time, no further operation or intervention is required. Please join us in wishing Stijn a full recovery.”
After being caught up in the nasty accident, Steels was taken on a stretcher to the hospital, though he was conscious and able to wave to the crowd as he was carried away.
the belgian horseman also shared a short message (opens in a new tab) on Twitter: “The scans did not bring good news. With pain in my heart (and in the rest of my body) I have to give up in six days. Thanks again everyone for all the support, everything will be fine.”
🆘 CRAAASH 🆘 Get well soon @StijnSteels 🙏❤️ #Pickxsports #Cycling #Lotto #Zesdaagsegent #Zesdaagse #Ghent6day #Gent #Belgium #StijnSteels @zesdaagseGent pic.twitter.com/LyJvEr3AOjNovember 15, 2022
The shocking incident in Ghent-Six came halfway through the first major scoring event of the night for the elite men’s field. The Sport Vlaanderen duo of Jules Hesters and Tom Torn Teutenberg struggled in an exchange that saw both hit the boards.
Fabio Van den Bossche attempted to evade the affected pair, but crashed as well, directly into Steels’ path, forcing them both to crash onto the Kuipke track.
After a short break in proceedings, racing resumed with the Baloise Insurance pairing of Lindsay De Vylder and Robbe Ghys taking the 20 points needed for victory ahead of Iljo Keisse and Jasper De Buyst.
Van den Bossche was able to continue and finished third with teammate Yoeri Havik while Steels and teammate Silvan Dillier qualified three laps behind.
With opening day out of the way, Great Britain’s Ethan Hayter and Fred Wright sit fourth in the overall standings with 37 points.
Both cyclists managed to avoid being caught up in the incident.