Horrillo out of coma after Giro crash

Horrillo rescue Giro d'Italia 2009 stage 8

Spain?s Pedro Horrillo has come out of a coma, 24 hours after his terrible crash during Saturday?s eighth stage of the Giro d?Italia to Bergamo.

According to reports from race organisers, Horrillo was able to move his feet and hands despite his terrible injuries. His wife arrived from Spain at lunch time on Sunday.

Horrillo went off the side of the road at high speed on the descent of the Culmine di San Pietro climb, after 65km of Saturday?s stage. According to reports, his bike was found on the road but he fell for 60 metres, suffering multiple fractures to his leg, knee, back and ribs, plus serious upper body injuries and a punctured lung.

Some local mountaineers were the first to reach him and trees were cut down to allow a medical helicopter to lift him from the ravine and evacuate him to Bergamo hospital.

Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga and team doctor Gert Leinders revealed the full extend of Horrillo?s injuries in a special press conference in Bergamo on Saturday evening.

?The situation is very serious but Pedro is stable. After crashing for 60 metres, the situation is a good as one can hope,? the doctor said.

?He was unconscious when he arrived in hospital but came round while being treated. The doctors then put him in an induced coma so they can treat him better. He is stable but the problem is that complications could emerge and so we have to be careful and not be too optimistic. We have to wait for the first 24 hours after the crash.?

?He?s got fractures in his upper leg, his knee and has several vertebrae fractures at both cervical and thorax level. He also has a very complicated trauma on his chest. His ribs have punctured lungs and that caused a lot of blood loss. At this moment the most difficult problem to treat is his breathing because of those ribs fractures and thorax injuries.?

?The good news is that the scan of his head and brain were negative. At the moment the doctors are waiting to see what complications emerge and trying to treat his respiratory problems.?

Luuc Eisenga explained how the accident happened: ?We understand that he made a mistake on the descent of San Pietro. His bike was on the road but didn?t find him. He was 60 metres down the slope,? Eisenga said.

?They had to cut trees to allow the helicopter to land but the directeur sportif said the race doctors did a great job. It?s a difficult moment for all of us but especially for his wife and children. Our thoughts go out to them.?

Those thoughts are shared by everyone who rides a bike and knows the dangers of our sport.

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Giro d'Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad

Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

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