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by Shane Stokes
June 25, 2016
Photography by Kristof Ramon
Almost one month after he was hit by a motorbike in the Tour of Belgium, Stig Broeckx’s Lotto-Soudal team has said that the rider has a very uncertain future due to brain damage.
“The past days the neurosurgical team of the hospital in Genk has reduced the medication of Stig in an attempt to get him out of coma,” it explained on Saturday. “Unfortunately Stig doesn’t respond to stimuli like sound or movement.
“The doctors confirm that Stig has incurred severe brain damage, in the brain stem and different brain regions. He is now in a vegetative state. At the moment it is difficult to predict if the consciousness can partially come back.”
It added that out of respect for Broeckx’s family, it would not give any further comments.
The Belgian rider was hit by a motorbike twice this year. In February he was hit by one at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but fortunately his injuries were not severe. However a far more serious collision happened on May 28 during the Tour of Belgium.
He was in a critical condition for almost two weeks after the impact due to intercranial pressure [fluid on the brain]. He was kept in an induced coma and underwent surgeries. On June 8 the team said that pressure had been brought under control and that the situation was “no longer acutely life threatening.”
However, unfortunately, on the basis of today’s news the rider is still facing an extremely uncertain future.
CyclingTips joins with the cycling community in hoping for the best possible outcome for Broeckx.
This crash and the fatal motorbike collision involving Antoine Demoitie in March’s Gent-Wevelgem has put the spotlight on the dangers involving race vehicles. The rider organisation CPA is pushing hard for increased safety measures in this regard and also in relation to course design.
Today’s news will further add to the impetus behind that push.