Claudia Cretti communicating for first time since Giro Rosa crash

Italian continues recovery from high-speed incident

Italian rider Claudia Cretti (Valcar PBM), 21, continues to make steady progress in her recovery following a horrific crash during the Giro Rosa earlier this month. After waking from an induced coma last week, Cretti has for the first time been able to communicate verbally with her family.

Cretti's mother Laura Bianchi has been keeping a daily diary on Facebook of her daughter's progress. In her latest post, she recalled her disappointment when Cretti was unable to talk with her when she woke from her coma, and her joy that she finally said 'mamma.'

"A few days ago, in a moment of disappointment after Claudia woke up, when I was worried about a lack of communication, a dear friend of mine told me more or less these words: 'you are a lucky mother. Because soon Claudia will tell you, and you'll hear her call her mother for the first time,'" she wrote. "At First, I did not give much weight to this prediction. I haven't thought about it in the last few days, even though I saw Claudia making progress like a baby, and we're parents like we all do with babies at their first conquests.

"Then it happened today. She recognised me, and she just tried to say 'mom'. Emotion to burst your heart. From tomorrow we start to work..... good night."

Cretti crashed at 90kph on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, her second appearance at the Grand Tour, hitting a guardrail as she went down. She was airlifted to the Rummo di Benevento hospital in a critical condition where she was put into a coma as a precaution. Last Wednesday, doctors began their efforts to bring Cretti out of the coma, but it was a cautious and slow affair.

In a Facebook post late last week, Cretti's mother described how her daughter had been getting frustrated with the tubing attached to her and had tried to pull it out. She talked of how she had been listening to audio messages and looking at photos, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that Cretti finally began to communicate.

Cretti is expected to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre closer to home where she can continue her recovery efforts.

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