Maurits Lammertink doesn't know if he "can ever become a professional cyclist again" after suffering multiple brain hemorrhages after a scooter rider crashed into him while he was getting ice cream for his family.
The Dutch rider had been told he was not going to be riding the Tour de France, so he went on a day out with his family. He had already given the three ice creams to his family and was on his way to getting his when the incident happened.
In an interview with Tubantia (opens in new tab), held at a rehabilitation center in Roessingh, Lammertink said: "I want to return to a professional level."
His wife Marion added: "It was a hard blow for Maurits when they had to slow him down here in the Roessingh and said to him: 'You are now convalescing, you are no longer a cyclist'. But Maurits is a cyclist! Cycling is his life."
Lammertink now appears well but is apparently easily overwhelmed with the interview reporting, and had to stop playing badminton, a rehab exercise, as the noises and lights were too much for him.
The 31-year-old has been taking specialist drugs so that he is able to have some more energy, meaning he can play with his children again. He can also read around 15 pages, a three-fold increase from his previous five.
Lammertink says he isn't ready to cut his cycling career short.
"I can't accept it until I know where my ceiling is," he continued.
"That's why I'm here now, to expand the mental capacity. To be able to function in normal society, and in the cycling peloton. The question is, will I ever be able to do that again? I do not know. I keep training, keep working hard. I can not do anything else. Time will tell what is possible."
His wife, Marion added: "That something so simple can bring about this dire situation and turn our lives upside down. Do you have a more dangerous profession than a professional cyclist, and then it happens with something as trivial as getting an ice cream."
Tubantia visited Lammertink at the rehabilitation centre in Roessingh. He spends his days in various therapies including movement therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy and physiotherapy.
But it wasn't just his brain that suffered, Lammertink has had a plate put in his shoulder to help his broken bones and tendons heal, which caused him severe pain. He still suffers from losing feeling in his hand because of it.
The incident also left him almost completely deaf in his left ear due to damage to his ear canal and he suffered a broken jaw as well as damaging his vestibular system.
Unfortunately, Lammertink's contract with Intermarché comes to a close at the end of this year with his wife pleading that he is given a chance.
"Let the team offer him a contract with a clause, but at least give him that chance to work on it," she said.
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