The Lotto-Soudal sprinter went down hard on his face in a 30-rider crash on stage eight of the Vuelta and was placed in a coma at a Murcia hospital. After he was woken up, Boeckmans was transferred to a Belgian hospital where he underwent eight hours of facial surgery that left him unable to speak for two weeks.
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But the Belgian was pictured back on his bike at the end of September as he continued his remarkable recovery.
“On a scale of one to ten I came from so far away that now I am almost at zero,” Boeckmans told reporters.
“Physically, I feel like I can handle more and more, but I can not force myself. I can already do five minutes on the bike.”
“I sometimes have that dirty feeling like you’ve been to the dentist. I have no headache, but do feel tired. As soon as I feel a slight pressure on my brain, I stop and I’m have to rest.”