Stig Broeckx responding to conversation nine months after being hit by race motorbike

Lotto-Soudal rider able to understand conversations and speak simple words after coming out of a coma

Stig Broeckx at the 2015 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Nine months after being seriously injured in a collision with a motorbike at the Belgium Tour, and two months after coming out of a coma, Lotto-Soudal rider Stig Broeckx is now responding to conversation according to team manager Marc Sergeant.

Sergeant said that he had visited Broeckx in hospital in the town of Overpelt earlier in February, and that the 26-year-old had been making good progress over the past months.

"Three weeks ago I saw him last, and that was incredible: you can talk with him again," Sergeant told Humo magazine. "He cannot answer, but he understands everything."

Broeckx had been in a coma after suffering serious head injuries in a collision with a motorbike in the Belgium Tour in May 2016. Doctors were initially concerned that the Belgian would never regain consciousness, but Broeckx defied expectations to regain consciousness in December.

The UCI has recently introduced new rules designed to provide more regulation to cars and motorbikes in races after a number of collisions between riders and vehicles in 2016, one of which saw Antoine Demoitié die after being hit by a commissaire's motorbike.