The 22-year-old German fell 39 feet into Lake Lugano during the first few kilometres of the race on Sunday. Luckily, he did not hit his head and was able to swim to a wooden plank, which he climbed onto and waited for a rescue boat.
Fiek was taken directly to hospital, but incredibly suffered only a mild fracture to the hip and minor bruising. He was discharged from the hospital on Monday, just 24 hours after the fall.
German Arnold Fiek falls 39 feet into a lake after overcooking a corner at GP Lugano. https://t.co/TcHWEXA1k8 pic.twitter.com/g9HK2eMuNL
— VeloNews (@velonews) February 29, 2016
The accident occurred when the cyclist hit a railing after coming round a bend on a particularly slippery stretch of road.
In the interview below, conducted in English by the Gazzetta dello Sport, Fiek seems remarkably unfazed as he explains what happened, but says that at the time he thought he was about to die.
“I was very very lucky,” he says, adding: “When I was falling in the water, I thought 'it's ending'. When I swam out of the water, I think 'OK, not so bad.”
The cyclist will be taking a six-week break from sport, but is already thinking about getting back on the bike.
Arnold Fiek is all ok after an unforgettable crash in the lake of #Lugano! We wish him a speedy recovery! #GPLugano pic.twitter.com/qo71Xe8IdW
— cj_procycling (@cj_procycling) February 28, 2016