Philippe Gilbert is a determined sportsman, so determined in fact, he finished stage 16 of the Tour de France with a broken kneecap.
And it looks excruciatingly painful.
He had a nasty crash on the descent of the Col de Portet d’Aspet after misjudging a bend which saw him fall over a stone wall and down a drop.
The Belgian cyclist quickly got back up, but fell down some places in the race as he received medical treatment, according to Cycling Weekly.
Gilbert completed the final 59km, and climbed two first category climbs to get to the finish line in 142nd place – 31 minutes behind stage 16 winner and his fellow teammate Julian Alaphilippe.
Join us in wishing a fast recovery to Philippe Gilbert, a key and selfless player for Quick-Step Floors in #TDF2018, who unfortunately is out of the race after crashing on the descent of Col de Portet-d'Aspet and sustaining a knee injury.
Posted by Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team on Wednesday, 25 July 2018
He limped onto the podium to receive his prize with blood running down his left leg.
Gilbert then understandably needed help getting to the ambulance to receive further treatment. X-rays have since revealed he had suffered a ‘fracture to his left patella’ – sadly meaning he’ll have to be off his bike for ‘four to five weeks’, and out of competitive cycling for ‘at least six weeks’.
Gilbert posted a picture of his injury on his social media accounts, and it’s safe to say it’s a pretty nasty-looking injury:
When you have a broken knee cap and decide to keep going for another 60km ? pic.twitter.com/cGoidtQH3w
— PHILIPPE GILBERT (@PhilippeGilbert) July 25, 2018
In a video posted on the Quick-Step Floors team Facebook page, Gilbert thanked riders and fans for the support.
I’m very grateful for all the messages I have received on my phone and social media, and also to all the riders who passed me and asked me how I was.
I’ve got a lot of support from the cycling family and it’s then that you see that it’s really a nice sport. You appreciate it when you get support in hard moments like that.
And writing to followers on Twitter, Gilbert told them:
Thank you all for the support after yesterday’s crash. I have done everything I could to continue in LeTour, but unfortunately it’s not longer possible with a fracture of the patella. As always I will come back stronger.
Fans were quick to wish him all the best with his recovery, which I am sure will help him on his journey to getting better.
What a legend. I stopped breathing when you went over the wall, can’t believe you just got up and back on the bike! Hard as nails. Speedy recovery.
So pleased when you gave the thumbs up…I feared the worse for you Phil so lets see you back winning soon.
And another wrote:
Wish you a speedy and healthy recovery. I will miss you and I’m looking forward to see you back.
Last year, Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski shared a shocking image of what his legs look like after a gruelling 16 stages – or 2,829km of cycling.
And this is without injury…
Alongside the photo, Pawel wrote: ‘After 16 stages I think my legs look a little tired.’
We hope Gilbert makes a quick recovery.
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