Lotto – Soudal’s Stig Broeckx remains in an induced coma following a crash caused by a motorcycle at the Baloise Belgium Tour, but his injuries are no longer acutely life threatening.
Broeckx underwent surgery early last week to relieve intracranial pressure. The surgery was successful, his team announced Wednesday.
“At this moment, it is not clear yet what the neurological consequences of the crash will be. These examinations can only take place when the condition of Stig has been stable for a long time,” the team said in a statement.
The crash that sent Broeckx and 10 other riders to the hospital was caused by pair of motorcycles that collided while attempting to pass the peloton. Het Laaste Nieuws reported that 19 riders were injured. The stage was suspended and then cancelled.
It was the second time Broeckx had been hit by a motorcycle this season. He was also hit at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
The crash came months after the Antoine Demoitié was killed by a motorcycle at Gent-Wevelgem.
With over a dozen vehicle-related race incidents in the last year, the UCI is facing pressure to increase safety measures. The organization issued new rules governing race vehicles, including motorcycles, on May 30, and said that it would review the Baloise crash to see if any of those new rules were broken. It has said it is studying elements such as the size and power of the motorcycles used in races.
Rider organization Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA) released its own action plan to deal with race caravan safety last week. It called for more stringent certification of drivers and a system of scoring and tracking drivers’ behavior during races, as well as a new rule to limit the overtake speed of any vehicle to 10kph over peloton speed. The CPA also suggested that motorcycles use off-course roads to pass the peloton, removing any chance of an incident.