US rider Chloe Dygert has undergone surgery after suffering a knee injury in a fall while defending her title in the world championship time trial in Italy, USA Cycling said on Friday.
"We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been," said Jim Miller, USA Cycling's Chief of Sport Performance. "While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter."
Dygert, 23, came off her bike at Imola on Thursday while leading the women's individual time trial by 26 seconds, losing her balance on a downhill bend, turning off the road, crashing over a security barrier and into a ditch.
"I remember thinking what if I can get my bike, can I still win? The first thing I remember was asking Jim Miller if I was done," Dygert tweeted on Friday morning, alongside a gruesome photo of her injury. "Then I looked down and saw my leg."
Dygert was evacuated to hospital in Bologna with her left knee bearing a large open wound.
"She is out of surgery, resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery," USA Cycling said on Friday.
Miller said he was confident Dygert would be back.
"With Chloe's determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it," he said. "For now, we want her to focus on healing."