Stig Broeckx (Lotto-Soudal) is reported to be in a coma after an incident involving a motorbike at the Belgium Tour.
The third vstage of the race was initially neutralised but was then cancelled when the seriousness of the crash became clear. It’s thought that a moving moto collided with a stationary moto, and both then collided with a group of riders.
It was first reported that Broeckx had sustained a serious head injury. Lotto Soudal later released a statement that expressed the severity of his injuries, which include bleeding in two places in his brain and a fractured eye socket. Team doctor Servaas Bingé confirmed that Broeckx is in a non-induced coma.
“It was immediately clear that Stig had incurred a head injury and that he needed to be transported to a neurosurgical centre. Together with the race doctor and the medical emergency team we decided to transport him to the hospital of Aachen, which has the necessary infrastructure. A scan was taken at the hospital and it showed that Stig has two bleedings in his brain. Stig is in a non-induced coma, but for the moment he doesn’t need to undergo surgery. He doesn’t have a skull fracture, but he does have a fractured eye socket, which will be further evaluated later. At this point, it is very difficult to give a prognosis about a full recovery. The next 24 hours he will be very closely monitored.”
Manager Marc Sergeant also made a statement noting that Broeckx had recently been involved in an incident with a motorcycle at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.
“Of course we are very shaken by all that has happened today. Last year our team had very difficult moments after the accident of Kris Boeckmans, exactly three months ago Stig was already hit by a motorbike in Kuurne and a few weeks later the peloton had to cope with the death of Antoine Demoitié. This is very hard for all staff members and riders, but even more for the family and friends of Stig. We can only hope that there is a positive evolution in the condition of Stig and we will support him and his family the best we can, both medically and emotionally.”
Following the incident, race organizers neutralized the race but then called it off altogether.
“After the neutralisation, the riders gathered in the team bus and drove to the team hotel were they stayed together to support each other and to talk about what happened. After deliberation we informed the organisation that we won’t ride the last stage of the Belgium Tour. At the moment it is pointless to make any accusations, but it should have been obvious much longer that structural measures concerning the safety of the riders are necessary.”
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