Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte University Hospital has announced that Alex Zanardi is in a serious condition, and is undergoing surgery for a severe head injury.
Multiple reports in Italy confirmed that ex-F1 racer and two-time CART champion Zanardi suffered a collision with a truck on Friday afternoon.
Zanardi, who has competed successfully in handcycling, was taking part in the Obiettivo Tricolore event.
The hospital confirmed in a statement released on Friday evening that Zanardi was transported by helicopter around 18:00 local time and was “immediately taken care of by the first aid professionals and evaluated in the shock room.
“His condition is very serious for the severe head trauma reported and he is currently undergoing a delicate neurosurgery intervention.”
Zanardi, 53, won four gold and two silver medals in the Paralympics at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
The Italian suffered life-changing injuries when he underwent a double leg amputation following a high-speed crash at the Lausitzring in 2001.
Several Formula 1 drivers have already voiced their support for Zanardi, with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sending his wishes.
“You never gave up and with your extraordinary strength of mind you have overcome a thousand difficulties,” Conte said on social media.
“Come on Alex, do not give up. All of Italy is with you.”