Madrid: Belgian rider Kris Boeckmans will remain in an induced coma for the next few days according to his Lotto Soudal team after being one of a number of riders badly injured in a crash-riden stage eight of Spain`s Vuelta.
"The 28-year-old rider has a severe facial trauma with several fractures, he`ll probably need surgery," Lotto Soudal said in a statement.
"Boeckmans also has a concussion, three broken ribs and had a bleeding in his lung. The doctors will now keep him in an induced coma for a few days."
Boeckmans was caught in a major pile-up around 50 kilometres from the finish which also saw Ireland`s Dan Martin, American rider Tejay van Garderen and France`s Nacer Bouhanni also have to withdraw from the race.
"I was riding just behind him when it happened," said his Lotto Soudal teammate Tosh Van der Sande.
"He was drinking when he rode over a hole, tumbled over his handlebar and hit the ground very hard."
Jasper Stuyven went onto win the stage despite also suffering a broken bone in his wrist in the crash.
Stage three winner Peter Sagan was also injured after being hit by an auxiliary motorcycle on a chaotic day with his Tinkoff-Saxo team threatening to take legal action against the parties involved.
The race continues on Sunday with a 168.3km ride from Torrevieja to Cumbre del Sol, Benitatxell.