Breathing difficulties lead doctors to keep the Belgian in a coma, but his condition is described as stable

Kris Boeckmans will remain in an induced coma for at least the next seven days, his Lotto-Soudal team announced on Monday night, as injuries to his lungs made it too difficult for the rider to breath independantly. Despite remaining in the coma, Boeckmans condistion was described as ‘stable’.

The 28-year-old suffered severe facial trauma, three broken ribs and bleeding from his lung, amongst other injuries, after he crashed while drinking from his bidon and hitting a pot-hole on stage eight of the Vuelta a España on Saturday.

Boeckmans was placed into the medically induced coma after the crash, which also saw GC hopefuls Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) withdraw from the race with less serious injuries.

The Belgian, who has been with the Lotto team since 2014, was due to come out of his coma after a few days, but a statement from the team made clear that doctors were forced to keep him in his induced state because of the severity of his lung injuries.

“The lung injuries (pneumothorax, laceration of the lung, bleeding of the lung and swollen pulmonary tissue) made it too difficult for Kris to sufficiently breathe independently, so he was placed in an induced coma again, this will certainly remain the case for the next seven days,” the team said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, the situation is stable. These injuries are the consequence of the impact on the chest. At the moment the swollen pulmonary tissue prevents an intake of oxygen via the alveoli. This swelling has to disappear slowly in a natural way. The bleeding in the lungs is kept under control by a drain which was already introduced in the thorax earlier.

“The family of Kris wants to thank everybody for the many messages of support of the previous days. They choose to remain on the background and not to answer any questions.”