17-year-old Lorenzo Gobbo is now recovering at a hospital in Belgium
Italian cyclist Lorenzo Gobbo is recovering after he was impaled during a race on Friday.
According to BBC Sport, Gobbo, 17, was competing in the European Under-23 and Junior Track Championships in Ghent, Belgium, when a group of cyclists crashed during a race. One of the bikes’ pedals went into the track, causing a wooden splinter to be dislodged.
Cycling News reports that the wooden piece of track went through Gobbo’s back and punctured his lung. According to the outlet, the splinter was a half-meter long, just under two feet.
The athlete was then rushed to the Jan Palfijn hospital in Ghent, where he underwent a three-hour surgery to remove the wood spike.
Frank Glorieux, the director of Cycling Vlaanderen, told Cycling News that Gobbo “is on intensive care” though he was hopeful that the cyclist might move to “a normal room” soon.
“He has not had the best night, but he has no fever and is progressing well,” Glorieux shared.
The injury was captured in a photo from Italian cycling media outlet BiCiTV.
After Friday’s accident, Glorieux added that Gobbo will likely not be returning to the track in the near future.
“He said he would have won rather than make the newspapers this way,” Glorieux said. “He could still laugh, but he doesn’t want to ride on the track for the time being. He will have to find his courage. He should recover completely, but there is a long recovery time ahead for him.”