Cylance Pro Cycling’s Katheryn Bertine is recovering in a hospital in La Paz, Mexico, following a crash during Sunday’s stage of the UCI 2.2 Vuelta Feminil Internacional. Bertine has suffered head injuries including abrasions to her face along with a broken collarbone, team manager Omer Kem told Cyclingnews.
“There was quite a bit of injury around her head, cheekbone and clavicle,” Kem told Cyclingnews. “The initial prognoses was serious but she has improved quite a bit since then. She was able to shower yesterday [Tuesday], get up and move around, and communicate with her father. She is getting better quickly.”
Bertine, who was racing for the composite team Sonora Speedbikes, was one of 25 riders to go down one kilometre before the bunch sprint at the end of the second of two stages.
She was immediately transported to a local hospital in La Paz, Juan Maria de Salvatierra Hospital, accompanied by the official race doctor, where she was initially place in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to her head injuries. It is unclear at this time the extent of the head injury.
Kem told Cyclingnews that she was released from the ICU on Sunday evening and moved to a private room at the same hospital for additional treatment and to be monitored. Kem said that the team has been in touch with her family, including her father Peter Bertine, and that together they are scheduling her return to the US, likely by this weekend.
“After speaking with a few riders down there, we were able to get in touch with the manager of her composite team, and put her father in contact with the doctor that was onsite at the time,” Kem said.
“I’ve been able to communicate with her father a few times a day and she has a friend with her there now. Her father will make the trip down once they figure out when she can return. I’ve been working with her family to try and facilitate whatever type of transport we need to get her back to the US.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to get her back to the US by this weekend. It all comes down to her condition being safe enough to travel.
"She's made remarkable progress, from her father's perspective and the doctor's perspective, in the sense that she is able to move around now, those are big milestones."