Alex Zanardi undergoes second surgery after handcycling accident

Daniel Ostanek
Cycling News
 BARCELONA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 30 Former Formula One driver and paracyclist Alex Zanardi poses after finishing IRONMAN Barcelona on September 30 2017 in Calella Barcelona province Spain Photo by Alex CaparrosGetty Images for IRONMAN
BARCELONA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 30 Former Formula One driver and paracyclist Alex Zanardi poses after finishing IRONMAN Barcelona on September 30 2017 in Calella Barcelona province Spain Photo by Alex CaparrosGetty Images for IRONMAN

Paracyclist Alex Zanardi remains in hospital in an induced coma on Tuesday after a CT scan on Monday showed that a second neurosurgery would be necessary. The surgery lasted two and a half hours, and Zanardi was returned to the intensive care unit where he remains sedated and intubated.

According to a press release issued by the Siena University Hospital, Zanardi remains stable from the cardio-respiratory and metabolic point of view, while the neurological point of view presents a more severe situation.

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"The intervention represents a step that had been hypothesised by the team," said health director Roberto Gusinu. "Our professionals will evaluate the situation day by day."

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Paracyclist Alex Zanardi suffers severe head injuries in truck accident

Zanardi's clinical conditions remained stable on Tuesday afternoon, according to the latest press release issued by the hospital.

"In agreement with the family, no other medical bulletins will be issued in the absence of significant developments," read Tuesday's statement.

Zanardi was taking part in the 'Obiettivo tricolore' relay race near Pienza, Tuscany when he lost control while descending and crossed lanes, colliding with a truck. The 53-year-old, who has four Paralympic gold medals to his name, was riding with ex-road pro Daniele Bennati on Friday, June 19 when the accident happened.

After being airlifted to hospital in Siena, Zanardi underwent a three-hour neurological and maxillofacial [jaw and face] surgery before being taken to intensive care.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Ferrari F1 racing team would carry the message 'Forza Alex' on their cars during the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend. Zanardi raced F1 for two spells in the 1990s, also racing in the CART series until he lost his legs in an accident at the Lausitzring in Germany in 2001.

Zanardi returned to race in the World Touring Car Championship and later took up handcycling, enjoying great success on the bike. As well as four golds across the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, he has also won the Venice, Rome and New York marathons, plus 12 Para-cycling World Championships.

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