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.

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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.