Russell Downing is bravely battling on in the Giro d’Italia despite suffering a nasty crash mid-way through the 19th stage.
Ahead of Saturday's penultimate stage, a 242km trek to the mountain-top finish at Sestriere, Downing tweeted: "Bit sore this morning but I'm gunna try finish this bad boy of @giroditalia. Cheers for all the msg .ouch."
The 32-year-old had been descending off the first-category Mottrone on Friday when a rider’s error immediately in front of him caused him to career over a crash barrier and fall approximately 20 metres into a ravine below.
Unbelievably though, Downing was able to get back on his bike and make it to the finish line in last position, but just inside the time limit.
The Yorkshireman was soon driven to a local hospital to determine the full extent of his injuries, and it was while he was in transit there that he provided a blow-by-blow account of the day's events.
He told us: “I was pretty lucky really. There was a Rabobank rider immediately before me who overshot the corner, and that meant that I was catapulted sideways. I hit the barrier and then went straight over it and down about 20 metres into the woods. My bike went even further than me but fortunately I hit a tree, which stopped me falling even further.
“After dusting myself down I managed to scramble up the slope with some help from the fans and get back on my bike, but the fall had broken my shoe plate, which offset my balance, and I crashed into the barrier again about two corners further down the road.
“That completely broke my bike, so I had to wait for a spare, and then 5km later I had to change my shoe before I could sprint back on to the grupetto and then climb the last 28km to the finish.
“I was happy to finish but we’ll have to see how I shape up for tomorrow now. It’s dependant on what the doctors have to say, but I would really like to start.
“I’m feeling pretty rough and have given my ribs a fair old crack. I’m coughing a bit of blood up, which is never a great sign, but I’ll survive. I’ve worked really hard to get here and it would be a shame if I wasn’t able to make it to the finish line now.”