Sunweb rider Edo Maas may never walk again after crash

The team have called on the UCI to improve race safety

(Image credit: Vincent Riemersma)

Sunweb rider Edo Maas may never walk again after he crashed into a car that had entered the course during a race.

The 19-year-old collided with the vehicle while descending the famous Madonna del Ghisallo during Il Piccolo Lombardia in Italy earlier this month.

Maas, from the Netherlands, was rushed to hospital with fractures to his neck, back and face, and was unconscious for a number of days.

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Sunweb have released an update, saying Maas was now conscious but that his injuries have led to loss of feeling in his legs and he may never walk again.

A statement from the team, released on Thursday (October 17), said: “Edo is now fully conscious and has been awake for a couple of days, and is responding well to family and visiting team mates. The fractures to his back and the injuries on his face required multiple intensive surgeries over the last week, all of which were successful.

“Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs.

“At this moment, it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails.”

Maas crashed when a car entered the course of the Italian under-23 race Il Piccolo Lombardia on October 6.

Sunweb has called on the UCI to act in order to improve race safety.

The team’s statement said: “Whilst this won’t undo this devastating tragedy, we once again call upon our governing body (UCI), to prioritise all of their time and resources on securing and ensuring the implementation of safe race conditions for teams and their riders.

“This week has been extremely difficult for the Team Sunweb family, of which Edo and his loved ones are and will always remain a central part.

“We send all of our strength and prayers to them at this difficult time.”

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Maas joined the Sunweb development squad at the start of 2019, having impressed with victory in the junior E3 Harelbeke in 2017.

He joined the team with the intention of going on to ride the Belgian Classics, while balancing racing with his studies of physiotherapy.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.