Jalabert, who won the Vuelta a Espana in 1995 and was world time trial champion in 1997, was on his bike when he was hit by a car travelling in the opposite direction near Montauban, a town in the south of France.
"He is not in danger," a spokesman said.
The vehicle suddenly turned left, cutting across Jalabert who had the right of way, the police said.
The 44-year-old suffered several fractures and was briefly unconscious when the emergency services arrived.
He was transferred to hospital to undergo surgery, a source close to the former rider told French radio RTL.