Stig Broeckx 'in a vegetative state' having suffered severe brain damage

Lotto-Soudal rider Stig Broeckx remains in a coma with severe brain damage following the crash with a motorbike in May - doctors say he may not regain consciousness

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

Doctors are concerned that Lotto-Soudal rider Stig Broeckx will not regain consciousness due to severe brain injuries suffered in a crash with a race motorbike at the Belgium Tour in May.

The Belgian rider is in a vegetative state in hospital, according to a Lotto-Soudal medical report, with attempts made by the neurosurgical team in Genk to wake him from an induced coma.

The team reports that Broeckx is not responding to stimuli like sound or movement. Doctors have said that the 26-year-old suffered severe damage to his brain stem and different brain regions from the crash on May 29.

"The doctors confirm that Stig has incurred severe brain damage, in the brain stem and different brain regions. He is now in a vegetative state," the statement read.

"At the moment it is difficult to predict if the consciousness can partially come back."

It is understood that Broeckx was hit by a motorcycle on stage three of the Belgium Tour after it had crashed into another broken down moto.

The stage was cancelled and riders staged a protest ahead of the fourth stage about rider safety, with a number of similar incidents occurring in recent months.

It was not the first time that Broeckx himself had been involved in such an incident this year, having suffered a broken collarbone when hit by an overtaking moto at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in February.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.