Soler 'improving' but not out of danger

Fri, 17 Jun 16:16:00 2011

Mauricio Soler has shown a "slight improvement" after being admitted into intensive care following a crash in the Tour of Switzerland on Thursday.

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Colombian Soler suffered severe head injuries on stage six and was taken straight to the Hospital Sankt Gallen.

It is too early for an accurate prognosis on his recovery, but Team Movistar doctor Alfredo Zuniga said they were hopeful on Friday.

"The news today is good," said Zuniga. "Mauricio is still at the ICU and his progress is favourable.

"The cerebral edema, which is the most worrying thing, has gone through a slight improvement and that's why we have to stay optimistic, even though we have to keep reservations because recovery in such processes is unpredictable."

A statement on the team's website following the accident said that apart from the head injuries, Soler had also suffered from multiple bruises and fractures.

"The progress of his pneumothorax has been good," the doctor added. "He also has multiple injuries and fractures, but the thing the doctors are more focused on now is the edema (fluid in the brain).

"He's being cared by the best of hands and the attention from all the people working at the Hospital St. Gallen is phenomenal."

Race doctors said after the stage: “Before the crash the peloton was going fast but there were obstacles and the road wasn’t narrow at the point, so we don’t know the exact reasons [of the crash].

"We found Soler on the ground unconscious so he was immediately transported to hospital. He has head injuries, a broken ankle and he has hard trouble breathing so doctors have had to drain his lungs."

Saxo Bank SunGard rider Baden Cooke however said that he crashed when the road narrowed.

"All of a sudden there was a footpath with a five-centimetre edge dropping down to the road level," he told AP. "Soler had no time to brake at all."

At the time of the crash, Soler was second overall after winning stage two - his first victory in four years - and leading the race for one day.

The rider collided with a spectator who suffered superficial injuries.


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