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Cavagna out of 'successful' surgery for broken back caused by driver of small car

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninch-QuickStep) poses on the podium with Rudy Molard (left) and Damien Touze (right) as new French cycling champion in road race
Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninch-QuickStep) poses on the podium with Rudy Molard (left) and Damien Touze (right) as new French cycling champion in road race (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Deceunick-QuickStep reported that Rémi Cavagna has completed “successful’ surgery today for a fractured L1 vertebra that was suffered five days ago in Spain when a driver struck the Frenchman and his teammate Mauri Vansevenant during a training ride. 

“We are pleased to report that the surgery, which took place at Hospital IMSKE Valencia, was successful. Remi will now take a period of recuperation and continue to be monitored by doctors,” the team posted on its website.

“Deceuninck - Quick-Step would like to thank the surgeon, Dr Gerd Bordon and the staff at IMSKE for their care, and we wish Remi the best for his recover [sic].”

From early tests after the crash, there were no reports of neurological damage to Cavagna, Het Laatste Nieuws reported. The 26-year-old won the French road race title in June. 

Vansevenant suffered a broken thumb, which will not require surgery, and was able to fly home to Belgium.

“Unlike Rémi, the damage is not too bad for me and I don't have to undergo surgery,” the 22-year-old Vansevenant told Het Laatste Nieuws on Friday. “It's annoying, but luckily my legs weren't hit and I can more or less maintain my condition. The second team camp, at the beginning of January, will certainly not be in jeopardy.”

He recounted only small details of the crash, saying he and Cavagna could not avoid a small car that moved into their path. It was not known if the driver stopped.

“We had just taken some group photos in our new 2022 outfits and were continuing on a slightly downhill two-lane track. Suddenly a small car was ignoring the right-of-way rules and coming onto the main road from a side path. We had to slam the on brakes but three riders, including Rémi and I, couldn't avoid a crash,” he said. A third rider in the group was not named.

The team was in the midst of its first winter training camp on the Costa Blanca, which included testing equipment. The camp began December 7 and was expected to continue through this week.

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