Italy's Marco Pantani, the bronze medallist at the recent World Championships, was taken to hospital with a broken leg yesterday after colliding with a vehicle during the Milan-Turin race.
Pantani, affectionately dubbed "Little Elephant" by Italian fans because of his bald head and large ears, was in a pack chasing the leaders on a fast downhill stretch when the accident happened.
Observers said that as the riders came out of a bend they hit a four- wheel drive vehicle emerging from a side road. The Italian riders Davide Dall'Oglio and Francesco Secchiari suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Pantani, who missed the Giro d'Italia last year after hitting a car in a training accident in May, was a stage winner in the mountains during the last Tour de France. Doctors said the rider would undergo surgery for an exposed break of the tibia and fibula of his left leg. He also suffered minor injuries to his chin and collar-bone.
The 208-km race was won by Italy's Stefano Zanini in 4hr 54min 24sec, ahead of Denmark's Rolf Sorensen and Italy's Francesco Casagrande.
n Jeannie Longo, of France, aborted her attempt to regain the world one- hour track record after less than 16 minutes in Bogota because the conditions were too windy.
She was attempting to beat the 47.411km record set by Britain's Yvonne McGregor in Manchester in June this year, but after covering nearly 13km in 15min 55sec at the Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento Velodrome, Longo pulled up. She held the one-hour record from October 1989 until April this year with 46.352km, which she set in Mexico City.
Tour de France, page 30
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