SA cyclist critical after crash in Italy

08 June 2016 - 09:40 By TMG Digital

Kegan Girdlestone, the South African professional cyclist critically injured in a race in Italy at the weekend, was yesterday reported to be "stable". According to a post on his Facebook page, "there is no threat to life". The post said he "was off the ventilator for a period while undergoing scans. This time he spent off a ventilator shows he is now able to breathe on his own".Once back in the ward, ventilation was resumed to assist him as he recovers.The 19-year-old Dimension Data rider was reported to be in a critical condition after being injured during the Coppa della Pace race in Italy.The accident - which involved a collision with a car - was so serious the race was immediately cancelled."He's a fighter," Keagan's mother, Desere, said from New Zealand on Monday morning. "He has to win the biggest challenge of his life now."Reports that the accident had cost Keagan his life circulated widely on social media and cycling forums."To say we were gutted to read reports on social media about his passing is an understatement," said Desere."Who started the rumour or thought it their place to post it is beyond comprehension."What caused the accident is still unclear. Cyclingnews quoted race director Raffaele Babini as saying: "We had covered 105km of racing. A team car slowed sharply and the guy [Girdlestone], who was at full speed, crashed violently [into] the car, breaking through the rear window, getting serious facial injuries."

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