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by Neal Rogers
March 22, 2016
Photography by Casey B. Gibson
Former professional cyclist Phil Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma one week after a horrific collision with a vehicle in his home of Boulder, Colorado, severed his arm and caused other serious injuries.
The crash occurred during lunch hour on March 15 near the bottom of Flagstaff Road, a mountain road Zajicek had ridden countless times over the past decade.
A GoFundMe page set up to support Zajicek said the former pro sustained multiple facial fractures, numerous broken ribs, a badly fractured femur, and a head injury.
“The emotional, physical, and financial burden that the Zajiceks now face is enormous and urgent,” the page reads. “We urge you to contribute to Phil’s medical fund and support his wife and two precious children.”
The page, created Monday by former pro Matthew Cooke, states that Zajicek remains in an Intensive Care Unit in a medically induced coma. Zajicek and Cooke were teammates at Navigators Insurance in 2007, and Health Net-Maxxis in 2008.
Boulder’s Daily Camera reported that Zajicek is no longer a patient at Boulder Community Hospital, but did not specify where he currently is located.
Zajicek was riding with a group of “six to eight” cyclists that were coming into a fast, right-hand bend near the bottom of the descent when he collided with a 2007 Chevrolet flatbed truck.
The Daily Camera reported that a Colorado State Patrol investigator said that Zajicek had crossed the center line before the crash. That account has been disputed by at least one cyclist from the group, who told CyclingTips he would speak on the record once the Colorado State Patrol had issued its official accident report, which is expected later this week.
Colorado State Patrol officials told the Daily Camera on Monday that they had not made a decision on issuing charges or citations, and that they hoped to speak to Zajicek once he is able to do so.
During his pro career, Zajicek raced with Mercury, Saturn, Navigators Insurance, HealthNet-Maxxis, and Fly-V Australia. His career highlights include an overall win at the 2007 Cascade Cycling Classic and a mountain stage win at the 2009 Tour of the Gila ahead of Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, where he finished third overall. He also registered top-10 overall results at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Tour of Britain, and the Amgen Tour of California.
After he was forced to leave cycling in 2011 with a lifetime ban, Zajicek started a career as a mortgage loan officer. The GoFundMe page reports that he is the “primary breadwinner” for his family, which includes his wife Elizabeth and two young daughters.
The page has a goal of raising US$300,000 for Zajicek’s recovery.