BERNE (Reuters) - Former Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal of Canada suffered several injuries in a crash during the third stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Monday and has withdrawn from the race, his Garmin-Sharp team said.
The 32-year-old, who had been planning to use the nine-day Swiss Tour to prepare for the Tour de France which starts on June 29, took a "heavy blow to the neck and head" after crashing 150 km into the 205 km stage from Montreux to Meringen.
"Hesjedal suffered multiple, severe contusions and abrasions to the right wrist, hip and knee and left shoulder, elbow and knee," said the team statement after the rider was taken to hospital where he is under observation.
The statement added that preliminary CT scans had not shown any fractures or "neurological pathologies".
Hesjedal, who was in second place overall after the second stage of the race, also had to withdraw from the defense of his Giro title last month suffering with a respiratory infection.
"Hesjedal's health is the team's priority - depending on how his recovery progresses, team medical staff as of now hope he may be able to train in a few days' time, although this will depend on his recovery," the team statement said.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Sonia Oxley)