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by Shane Stokes
January 11, 2018
Wellens refuses to use inhalers despite his asthma, debates TUE use; British Cycling chief executive disappointed news of Froome’s positive test was leaked; Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah host venues announced; Hanson’s nationals ride seals slot on UniSA Team for Santos Tour Down Under; Defending champion Spratt on chances of repeat Santos Tour Down Under win; Girdlestone reaches the next stage of his comeback; Israel Cycling Academy signs African refugee for two seasons; Hour record holder Marchand retires….at 106 years of age; Video: Katusha-Alpecin 2018: New season, new riders; Video: Wiggle-High5 – Tour Down Under preview – New athletes for 2018; Video: Riding Fixed, Up Mountains, With Pros. – Ep. 3 Red Rock Canyon w/ Floyd Landis & Dave Zabriskie; Photo: Edmondson debuts new national champion’s jersey
Nine months after returning to racing after a near-fatal crash in June 2016, Keagan Girdlestone is about to take the next step along his eventual goal of competing successfully as a WorldTour rider.
The 20-year-old rider announced on Monday that he will return to international-ranked racing soon. “It’s been a few months now and it excites me immensely to announce in a week’s time I’ll be pinning up my race numbers again in a return to not only my first race of the season, but also my first UCI tour since the accident!
“I’ll be lining up with Team Frezzor Racing in the New Zealand Cycle Classic and test myself and my progression to some very good international competition! Let’s make 2018 happen!!”
The South African collided with his team car during the Coppa della Pace race on June 5 2016, hitting the rear window while chasing back on a descent. Suffering huge blood loss due to lacerations to his carotid artery and his jugular vein, he was hospitalised in severe condition.
He suffered several small strokes, had uncertain prospects of survival and remained in a coma for several days. Doctors were initially sceptical if he would ever walk again, but he did that and then returned to outdoor training in November of that year.
“The never-say-die attitude still prevails as I make my first appearance at a @UCI_cycling tour since the accident!,” he said via Twitter. The New Zealand Cycle Classic runs from next Wednesday until the following Sunday, and is ranked 2.2 on the UCI calendar.