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by Shane Stokes
October 21, 2017
Fernando Gaviria doubles up at the Tour of Guangxi, extends overall lead; Welsford wins again in Gippsland, Moran best in women’s race; Broeckx continuing to amaze in recovery from brain injury; Doctor under investigation in Sky scandal resigns amid talk of poor health; Young French rider killed in accident at Tour of New Caledonia; Bardiani-CSF team may escape suspension despite a third rider testing positive; UCI President: One-day La Course is ‘not enough’; Simon Yates on 2018 Tour route: ‘I would prefer the climbs to arrive earlier’; Victoria sets up Office for Women in Sport, cyclist Bridie O’Donnell to head; Video: Taiwan KOM Challenge from the view of Cadel Evans; Video: Contador gets warm welcome from fans in Japan
Left in a coma with a brain injury in May 2016 when two motorbikes collided and brought down many riders in the Baloise Belgium Tour, Stig Broeckx has continued to make encouraging progress. The Lotto-Soudal rider was in an induced coma for weeks and there were fears he would be left in a persistent vegetative state. “Stig has incurred severe brain damage, in the brain stem and different brain regions,” his tema said in June 2016. “He is now in a vegetative state. At the moment it is difficult to predict if the consciousness can partially come back.”
Seventeen months after his crash, team doctor Servaas Bingé told Belgium’s Radio 1 that he is doing far better. “It’s okay with Stig,” he said, according to Het Nieuwsblad. “In the beginning, the messages were very ominous, but I saw him on the team day of Lotto-Soudal, where he had eaten with his teammates. The new clothes were also fitted, but he did not go along.
“It was a very enjoyable evening and I also had a nice chat with him. He was well understood. When I asked him at some point if he was happy, he answered ‘yes, I’m happy.’”
Broeckx is determined to make progress. “His father told me an ancedote: for example, during his rehabilitation, he had to ride a bike for half an hour, but repeatedly dropped the counter to zero for longer cycling. That’s that special mindset, the top sport mindset, to shift the boundaries for yourself.”
Bingé said that he has been amazed by his progress. “I last saw him three weeks ago, and that was incredible — you can converse with him. He can not answer, but he understands everything.” Yet he doesn’t know what lies ahead. “The question whether he will ever be able to return in the peloton is not yet answered.”
Click through to see more at Het Nieuwsblad.