Nearly eight months after suffering severe head trauma and a fractured skull due to a crash in the Tour de Suisse, Mauricio Soler has made a major milestone in his recovery, by finally taking back to the bike.
According to reports from website Mundo Ciclistico, Soler took a short ride around his parent's house in the Colombian countryside not far from his own home in Ramiriqui, and looked generally comfortable. It's a significant moment for Soler, who struggled with simple cognitive functions such as breathing, swallowing and talking in the wake of the accident.
He has followed a strict rehabilitation regime since his return to Colombia in December, which has included a variety of physical and mental therapies. Though with still a significant amount of work ahead of him the former Tour de France King of the Mountains said that he was "really happy just to have been able to ride a bike again".
"It was one of my big goals, alongside seeing my son again," said Soler. "Cycling is something I really love. Mentally I feel better than ever, and I'm improving further day by day."
Soler, 28, was placed in an induced coma shortly after the Tour de Suisse accident, with doctor's initially unsure whether he was going to live. He underwent surgery in hospital in St. Gallen, Switerzerland, where he began basic rehabilitation, before he was moved to a private hospital in Spain in July.
The Colombian told the assembled media upon his return to Colombia that he was unsure whether he would ever ride professionally again, citing the importance of recovery the most critical thing above all else.
"We will we see what will come after that."
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Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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