Sunweb development team rider Edo Maas has been left paralyzed after crashing into a car at the U23 Il Lombardia on October 6.
The 19-year-old Dutchman hit the vehicle after it had entered the course on the descent of the Madonna del Ghisallo climb. He was taken directly to Milan hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries to treat fractures in his back and injuries in his face, all of which were successful.
A statement on the Sunweb team website released Thursday states:
“Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs. At this moment it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails. At this stage no further information on Edo’s condition is available.”
Sunweb are reporting that Maas is fully conscious and responding to visits from family and teammates.
“We ask to respect Edo and the family’s privacy, as they process this difficult news,” read the Sunweb team statement. “Another update will be provided when necessary.”
“Whilst this won’t undo this devastating tragedy, we once again call upon our governing body (UCI), to prioritize all of their time and resources on securing and ensuring the implementation of safe race conditions for teams and their riders,” stated the release.
The news comes in the same week that the UCI announced it would be fining organizers of the BinckBank tour for safety failings after riders complained of unsafe race conditions.
Sunweb’s statement closes: “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.”
This news is extremely difficult for Edo, his family and teammates to process. Through it all, we will always remain #TogetherForEdo❤
— Team Sunweb (@TeamSunweb) October 17, 2019