Italian junior Samuele Manfredi awakes from medically induced coma

The 18-year-old had been in the coma since a collision with a car in early December

One month after being struck by a car, 18-year-old Italian hopeful Samuele Manfredi is awake from a coma and is transferring to a specialised hospital.

The junior winner of Ghent-Wevelgem, second in Paris-Roubaix and European pursuit champion, had been in a medically induced coma since being hit while training along the Italian Riviera on December 10.

The incident occurred in Toirano, six kilometres from his home in Loano, as he returned home from training.

“We have good news to share,” wrote Groupama-FDJ on Tuesday on Twitter.

“Yesterday, Samuele Manfredi woke up from the induced coma he was kept in after his accident on December 10. He is no longer in a life-threatening condition and will now start a long recovery process.”

He was due to ride with Groupama-FDJ’s continental feeder team in this 2019 season. The professional team includes stars Arnaud Démare and Thibaut Pinot.

Instead, Manfredi heads from the Ligurian coast that hosts the Milan-San Remo final every spring to the neighbouring province of Emilia-Romagna. He will stay under observation at Ferrara’s centre specialized in neuro-rehabilitation as he recovers.

Doctors woke him from his coma following 35 days in Pietra Ligure’s hospital. He had suffered what was then described as “serious head trauma.” A driver behind the wheel of Fiat Panda accelerated from a stop without seeing the him.

He reportedly is able to keep his eyes open now but is still not conscious.

The 6-foot-2 and 80kg rider made a long 110km escape and bettered his two companions to win Ghent-Wevelgem in 2018. There, the organisers called him to celebrate the victory on the podium with the professional men’s winner and world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Later in the year, he placed second in the junior Paris-Roubaix and won individual pursuit gold at the Junior European Championships.