Rhodes and Yaxley recovery 'amazing'

After the terrible accident which involved members of the Australian women road cycling team last...

After the terrible accident which involved members of the Australian women road cycling team last Tuesday in the state of Thüringen, Germany, South Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes, 20, has started physiotherapy as part of her rehabilitation and Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, is recovering well from surgery in the University Clinic in Jena. Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, said the pair remained in intensive care but doctors say they are very happy with the progress of both women.

"Alexis has done some walking and some cycling on a stationary rehabilitation bike," said Prof. Fricker. "It's pretty amazing progress for a girl in intensive care but she's determined. The surgery on Louise went very well," he continued. "Doctors changed the fixator device in her right elbow to allow more flexibility and they also operated on her left wrist.

"She has also undergone skin grafts on both arms," he said. "She will need to have some pins removed at a future date but she is doing well mentally and has recovered from the anaesthetic and surgery very well."

Meanwhile, Sydney's Kate Nichols, 20, has been out and about in Jena and will be heading home in the next week or so while Queenslander, Lorian Graham, 27, has started physiotherapy and rehabilitation including cycling with one leg. "She is mentally very strong and enthusiastic about her rehabilitation," said Prof. Fricker.

Katie Brown, 21, has begun weight bearing exercise on her left leg but work on her right leg will have to wait until the fracture bones knit.

The five injured teammates of Amy Gillett, who died instantly at the tragic accident, have sent back a message to be read on their behalf at the memorial service on Friday, August 29. A second memorial service will be held at Adelaide's Super-Drome on Friday August 5.

Meanwhile, the German government has announced a donation of $8000 to the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation established by Amy's family and Cycling Australia. The organisers of the Thüringen Rundfahrt event have also created the Amy Gillett prize to a team or individual for outstanding fairness and exemplary sportsmanship during the Tour.

People wishing to donate to the Foundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page.

Condolences and tributes

Cyclingnews has now published four pages of tributes from cyclists and supporters from around the world who've been affected by this tragedy. Please see: Amy Gillett: Tributes, 1976-2005, Part 1, and Part 2, Part 3 (posted July 21) and Part 4 (posted July 22).

Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to Cycling Australia's web site and follow the link on the home page.

Related stories:
July 24: Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious
July 21: AIS head 'optimistic' about recovery; 'Brownie' tries his best
July 19: Unprecedented carnage in GermanyJuly 18: Amy Gillett dead after crash in Germany

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