CYCLIST Chloe Dygert has undergone surgery on her leg after suffering a brutal injury following a crash during the World Championships.
Dygert, 23, lost control on a bend due to a front tyre issue and found herself hurtling over the barrier in a terrifying moment.
The defending champion in Imola, Dygert had been on course to retain her title.
But things took a very different turn, as the American instead found herself undergoing surgery to treat her gruesome lacerations in a Bologna hospital.
After the crash, Dygert amazingly thought she might still be able to win.
The ten-time champ said: “I remember thinking what if I can get my bike, can I still win? Then I looked down and saw my leg.”
USA Cycling head of performance Jim Miller, meanwhile, was just relieved that things hadn’t been even worse.
He said: “We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been.
“While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With her determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it.
“For now, we want her to focus on healing.”
Dygert’s coach Kristin Armstrong added: “Chloe is a gifted athlete.
“She’s had accidents in the past and returned stronger than ever.
“I have no doubt that this will be the case again.”