Jeremy Honorez hopes to return to racing in March, some six months after a horrific accident which nearly cost him his right leg and saw him placed in an induced coma. The 23-year-old hopes to ride the GP Samyn in March for his Continental-ranked Bodysol-EuroMillions team.
The young Belgian had a good build-up to September's Memorial Rik van Steenbergen, winning four races in August, and had been hoping for a top-ten finish in the race, saying “my legs were exceptional. It was even the first time in my career that I asked my teammates to support me.” He had also hoped that a good placing would draw him to the attention of bigger teams.
However, with only 18 kilometres to go, Honorez collided at full speed with a sign post. The pole was bent and his bike was shattered. But so was his body – open fractures of both his left tibia and right femur, destroyed knee ligaments and extensive bleeding.
At first doctors were not sure they could save his leg. “The femoral artery was torn in two places and there was very heavy internal bleeding,” Honorez told the French website cyclismag.com. He was placed in an induced coma following surgery to allow his body to recover from the trauma.
After emerging from the coma five days later, doctors told him he might ride again, but only if he sat out for a year. Since then, however, he has made rapid and remarkable progress. By October 20, Honorez had been transferred to a sports rehabilitation centre, and the end of December was on his bike again.
“Lately I have been out for three hours if the weather permits. On Friday I had to stay in and do an hour and a half on the roller,” he said. “I hope to soon extend my outings and go up to four or four and a half hours.”
His left leg has healed totally, “because the muscles were not affected. I just have to wear a splint on the tibia. “
The right leg continues to cause problems. “The muscles of my thigh are a little distorted,” Honorez said, and he is still undergoing rehabilitation for the damage to his knee ligaments.
The next step in his recovery will come on January 20, when the doctor will decide whether to remove the splint from his right leg. “From there, I will see what level I am at and how I can train.”
Honorez said he hopes to have recovered sufficiently to return to action at Belgium's GP Samyn on March 3.