Sunweb Development Team rider Edo Maas has posted a video of himself walking again with the aid of a bionic exoskeleton.
The Dutchman suffered severe injuries during Il Piccolo Lombardia after colliding with a car that entered the race course on the descent of the Madonna del Ghisallo.
Ten days after the crash, his team announced that the 19-year-old was left with paralysis in both legs. Maas also suffered facial injuries and neck fractures in the crash, which came 126km into the 176km race.
"Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs," the press release read. "At this moment it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails."
On Monday, Maas posted a video to Instagram showing him taking several steps while using crutches and wearing the Free Walk exoskeleton from Taiwanese company Free Bionics.
A photo posted by @edo.maas on Jan 13, 2020 at 5:08am PST
The device, which attaches to the hips and legs, has a 2kph moving speed and a battery life of two hours. It's designed to help people with weaknesses in their lower limbs walk independently again, according to the company's website.
After Maas' accident, Team Sunweb appealed to the UCI to prioritise team and rider safety at races.
"Whilst this won't undo this devastating tragedy, we once again call upon our governing body (UCI) to prioritise all of their time and resources on securing and ensuring the implementation of safe race conditions for teams and their riders," the statement read.
"This week has been extremely difficult for the Team Sunweb family, of which Edo and his loved ones are and will always remain a central part. We send all of our strength and prayers to them at this difficult time."
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