Sunweb’s Edo Maas has shared a video of himself taking his first steps since losing the feeling in his legs, assisted by a set of bionic limbs.
The 19-year-old Dutchman was told he may never walk again after he was hit by a car that entered the course during an under-23 race last October.
Maas suffered a fractured vertebrae in the collision and has been battling to recover as best as he can.
On Monday (January 13), he shared a video of himself walking with the assistance of technology that supports him as he takes steps.
The Free Bionics Free Walk is an exoskeleton system that has been designed by for anyone with lower limb weakness that prevents them from walking.
Thanks to the technology, people who are normally unable to walk can stand, move and sit down.
In an Instagram post in December, Maas said: “The hard reality at the moment.
“The last two months have been hard and the coming time will be hard, but it has also been special. So much love.
“Without you I wouldn’t be pushing myself up again in the gym.”
The latest video shows Maas taking a handful of steps with the bionic legs, a pair of crutches and two helpers assisting him with his balance.
His injuries were suffered as he was descending the famous Madonna del Ghisallo during Il Piccolo Lombardia in October.
He was rushed to hospital with fractures to his neck, back and face, and was unconscious for a number of days.
Shortly after the fall, Sunweb released a statement announcing that Maas had lost feeling in his legs and may never walk again.
The team also called on the UCI to improve race safety.
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.