(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY 3.0)
This is the worst possible start to a new year for any rider, but for the 29-year-old Frenchman it comes after a disastrous 2011 in which he suffered frequent bouts of bad health which affected the two-time National Track Champion's performance badly, his best result all year being 12th in the General Classification at the International Presidency Turkey Tour. The rider has not yet commented, but fans will be wondering if an accident this serious after a bad year might persuade him to take early retirement.
Monier, who has remained with Cofidis since being taken on as a trainee in 2003, was taken to hospital where he was revealed to have multiple fractures at the base of his skull, jaw and sinuses as well as heavy facial bruising. Fortunately, he escaped spinal injuries.