Keagan Girdlestone is making a strong recovery after a serious incident during the Italian Coppa della Pace in June that left him in critical but stable condition in hospital. The South African rider posted a video of himself running and riding his bike for the first time since the accident.
"I rode my bike on the road for the first time since my accident!" Girdlestone posted on Twitter. "Only a few meters but celebrate the small victories."
It was reported on Tuttobiciweb that Girdlestone, who is a member of the Dimension Data Continental team, crashed twice on a descent, and that the second crash happened while he was among team vehicles and collided in to the back of one of the cars as it slowed.
Initial reports on social media claimed Girdlestone, 19, had died, but a post on his father's Facebook page said he was in hospital in a critical condition.
"Keagan has been in an accident and is currently in theatre in a critical but stable condition," the post read. "Your prayers for his strength and for him to continue fighting would be appreciated. What is on social media is not factual so please keep him in your prayers as he is a fighter."
He later wrote in detail about his recovery and the accident, which resulted in life-threatening cuts to his jugular and carotid arteries that prevented blood and oxygen from reaching his brain. He lost a lot of blood and also suffered serious nerve and muscle damage.
Girdlestone recently posted a video blog of his progress on Youtube where he went for a run, visited a local bike shop and café, rode his trainer for 45 minutes and then went for a short spin on outside on the roads.
"In my first ride I only averaged 45 watts for five minutes," he said. "It's hard to see the progress but you just have to record those limits every single day, so that you can see those improvements even though the are marginal and they may not be what you want them to be, but if you are improving, there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. The small improvements: you have to accept them and appreciate them."
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