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Just a few months after joining Trek World Racing, young American downhill prospect Neko Mulally is sidlelined with a broken arm and will miss the first two World Cup events of 2010.
Following an accident in training at last weekend’s first round of the Gravity East DH Series at Massanutten, Virginia, Mulally has a confirmed compound fracture of his arm, three-quarters down the radius bone toward the wrist , according to team officials.
Plans have been scrapped for the 17-year-old Mulally to race at the World Cup downhill season opener at Maribor, Slovenia on May 15 and at Fort William in the United Kingdom on June 5. Team officials said they will assess the Pennsylvania native’s recovery on a week-by-week basis, with the goal of him ready to race for Leogang, Austria on June 19. Ultimately the team is not wishing to rush his recovery or return to racing.
“Obviously this is a huge blow for me, as I was so looking forward to the start of the World Cup season,” Mulally said. “Right now Leogang is looking realistic to come back to racing, but we’ll take it one week at a time for now.”
Despite being too young at 16 years old to race World Cups, Mulally had an impressive 2009 season. He was the course fore-runner at the Mont Ste Anne and Bromont events alongside World Cup stars. The Reading, Pennsylvania resident also dominated East Coast racing, winning the Pro Gravity Tour overall.
Mulally finished in fifth place at Crankworx in the Canadian Open downhill, only a few seconds behind established World Cup top 10 pros. He also had a fourth in the dual slalom at Crankworx.
In December, Mulally signed with 23 Degrees Sports, which manages Trek World Racing. Team owner Martin Whiteley said the injury is a hurdle that can be cleared.
“I got the call just as we were going on air for the Freecaster 4X coverage at Houffalize, and of course we were all very upset for Neko,” Whiteley said. “But it’s not the end of the world, and he needs to stay focused on recovery, doing all he can with his coach and doctors to return 100 percent fit and strong at the appropriate time. Neko’s a smart and responsible rider; I have 100 percent faith in his ability to manage this injury.”