Florent Payet has had a terribly unfortunate start to his 2021 World Cup campaign, getting struck in the genitals by a pole marking the course, resulting in the Scott Factory downhill racer being rushed to hospital with what can only be described as a nightmarish injury.
Riders are currently practicing the track at Leogang in preparation for the first round of the 2021 Downhill World Cup on Saturday and many riders seem to be finding it difficult to get to grips with the treacherous muddy wood section. Payet says he was enjoying the track and conditions and was experimenting with some line choices on a fast section some 30 seconds into the track when disaster struck.
In downhill whether riding, racing or crashing, it's not uncommon for riders to strike the course poles as they explore the limits of the track. However, in this instance Payet was unlucky and the pole whipped him between the legs and caused some serious pain.
Once he reached the bottom of the course and inspected himself, it was clear that immediate medical attention was required. Payet describes the scene inside his trousers as "There was lots of blood and some spare parts were hanging out that should have been tucked away safely. I needed to get to a hospital urgently." Luckily surgery was a success, with everything getting put back in place and hopefully there's no long-term damage.
The French rider outlined the whole incident in the below Instagram post which will have many riders wincing at the thought of such an incident:
Payet hasn't had a great time when it comes to World Cup downhill racing recently. The tallest rider on the World Cup roster only managed to finish one of four races last year, taking 26th place in Maribor round 2, and finished his season with an aeropleura (pneumothorax) which required his lung to be drained after a nasty crash on a triple jump in Lousa, Portugal. Hopefully, this will be the end of what must be a frustrating run of bad luck, and we will see him back on form soon.