Alex Zanardi remains in a serious condition following his handbike accident and subsequent surgery on Friday evening.

The latest update from the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena, issued at 10am Italian time, says that his vital signs are stable.

The full statement reads: “Regarding the clinical conditions of the athlete Alex Zanardi, hospitalised from 1800 on June 19 in very serious conditions at the Santa Maria alle Scotte polyclinic following a road accident that occurred in the province of Siena, the Health Directorate of the Aou Senese informs that the patient, subjected to a delicate neurosurgical intervention on the evening of June 19, and subsequently transferred to intensive care, has stable hemodynamic and metabolic parameters.

“He is intubated and supported by artificial ventilation while the neurological picture remains serious.”

Zanardi underwent some three hours of neurosurgical and maxillofacial (related to the jaw and face) surgery on Friday under Dr Giuseppe Oliveri, chief of neurosurgery at the hospital.

He was competing on a stage of the Obiettivo Tricolore relay event, which runs around Italy for two weeks, when he crashed into a truck.

The accident happened on the SP146, a winding road through the countryside between the towns of Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia. Reports from witnesses say that Zanardi lost control, overturned and went into the oncoming lane, where he struck the vehicle.

Because the accident occurred in a wooded area the helicopter couldn’t land at the site, and Zanardi had to be transferred to a field, where the helicopter could land.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica quoted Mario Valentini, the coach of the Italian team, as saying that the truck had tried to avoid the collision.

“It happened on a straight downhill, just before the road makes a slight bend,” he said. “Alex slightly crossed into the other lane. The truck tried to steer but was not able to avoid the impact.”