International Cycling

Top cyclist out of surgery after horror SA truck crash

2018-01-29 13:58
Petr Vakoc (Twitter)

Paris - Quick-Step's Czech rider, Petr Vakoc, is out of surgery after being knocked over by a truck while on a training ride in South Africa last Thursday.

Vakoc sustained multiple injuries, including breaking several vertebrae, when he was hit by a truck while riding with team-mates Bob Jungels and Laurens De Plus.

The trio were on an altitude training camp in Mpumalanga that was subsequently curtailed by the incident, with De Plus suffering pulmonary and kidney contusions.

Jungels fortunately escaped the crash. 

Jungels rushed to their aid and comforted his team-mates until medical care arrived.

"I did not see the truck coming from behind, but it must have hit them with the left front mirror or even the front left part.

"I ran to them and could see they were injured, so I did not dare to move them.

"A lady who was on the side of the road came and helped us, calling the ambulance, while our trainer Koen Pelgrim and I talked with them. It was really tough," Jungels said in a team statement.

An update from Quick-Step stated that despite the worries that come with spinal injuries, the immediate medical treatment went as well as possible. 

"Petr Vakoc underwent surgery at the Mediclinic Nelspruit to stabilise the broken vertebrae he sustained during his Thursday training ride in South Africa, when he was clipped by a truck. Stable and conscious after the accident in which also team-mate Laurens De Plus was involved, the 25-year-old Czech went into surgery on Friday afternoon and spent the entire night under observation, before being awakened by the doctors on Saturday," the statement confirmed.

"The post-surgery tests conducted this morning (Saturday) showed Petr responding to all stimuli, moving and talking with the doctors, who deemed the intervention a success. Now, the Quick-Step Floors rider will spend 10 more days in the hospital before traveling back to Europe."

It unclear at this stage how long it will take for Vakoc to make a full recovery and return to racing.

Happy to share with you that my appetite is healthy already! Very grateful for the incredible amount of support I have been receiving. Especially from @koenpelgrim1 @bobjungels @laurensdeplus & Peter de Conick who are here and the whole @quickstep_team. I have already felt like having my family here even before my mum and bro @mvakoc made the long trip here. Huge thanks to the medical staff of the hospital and ambulance who have been doing amazing job, many kind people who were around and our hosts at @hopshollow who have been taking perfect care of us since we arrived and on top of it sent this amazing carrot cake. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of messages and encouragement I have received from all of you! Thank you! I really appreciate it!

A post shared by Petr Vakoc (@petrvakoc) on

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