Content warning: graphic imagery and GIF clip below.
Stefan Küng started Wednesday’s elite men’s individual time trial at the European Continental Championships in the Netherlands as one of the favorites to take the victory, but he finished the day covered in blood after a scary crash.
The 29-year-old Swiss TT specialist was in the midst of a strong performance on the 29.8 km route in Emmen when he crashed as the course narrowed before a curve. The incident left him with a frightening head injury, with his helmet seriously damaged by the force of the crash. Within moments, his jersey and arms were covered in blood.
Küng had his head down and appeared not to see the fence narrowing the course from the left. He made a last-second attempt to correct but was unable to avoid the obstacle.
Nonetheless, Küng remounted and continued, despite the profuse bleeding – and despite UCI rules ostensibly in place to keep potentially concussed riders from racing. Having appeared to be in contention for a podium spot before his crash, Küng ultimately rode to 11th on the day as Great Britain’s Josh Tarling took the title.
Küng is no stranger to serious crashes, having sustained significant injuries at various points in his career, including in his neo-pro season with BMC when he suffered a vertebra fracture in a crash at the Giro d’Italia. Fortunately, he seemed OK at the finish on Wednesday, although it was not immediately known whether the incident left him with any lasting injuries.
What did you think of this story?