Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | Ion Izagirre from BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is recovering well
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Ion Izagirre from BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is recovering well

  |   Press

San Sebastian, Friday, 28th July – “Since the crash, I never once thought that I would never sit on a bike again,” said Ion Izagirre today at a press conference in San Sebastian. He is motivated and focused on soon returning to races.

Today’s press conference in Hotel Barcelo’ Costa Vasca in San Sebastian was organized to explain details and consequences of Ion Izagirre’s tragic accident in the first stage of Tour de France this season. That rainy day, Ion badly fell on a slippery road and was immediately taken to the local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a lumbar vertebral fracture. Today, 28 days since the injury, Ion’s condition is really well, his recovery is going better than expected and he is already optimistically looking forward to future races. He drove from Vitoria to San Sebastian today, entered the lobby with a smile and immediately ran to the rooms of the masseurs and teammates that he misses a lot.

Dr. Emilio Magni, who was also present at today’s conference, commented Ion’s condition: “As you know, Ion went through a surgery to insert metallic stabilizers between the vertebrae to allow faster and better bone consolidation. These stabilizers are still present and can be removed no sooner than one year. They currently limit the flexion movement of the column so Ion is still a bit stiff in the movements but has started the rehabilitation program immediately after the surgery and everything is going well. The physiotherapist reported to coach Artuso that it could not go better than this. Ion’s sensations are great. On August 9th, he will undergo an x-ray control echography and according to the results we will decide whether to increase the workloads during the rehab.”

Ion is already full of enthusiasm and motivation and he explained: “I don’t know why I crashed – maybe it was the weather, the speed … someone even told me there was a motor bike accident on that curve, so maybe it was an oily road. I don’t know. I didn’t see Valverde on the floor; he was taken to the hospital before me and meet him there unfortunately. I just remember that after the crash I kept telling to the doctor ‘My back, my back, my back!’ I could move my legs and hands but I felt a terrible pain in my back. Immediately after the crash I was in the hospital. First minutes in there I was thinking only about the Tour de France, but when the doctor came to me and I realized how bad the injury was, I switched my mind and I started to focus only on my back, surgery and recovery. But I had never, not for a second, thought I wouldn’t go back on the bike. After the surgery went well and the doctors were happy about it, I left the hospital and I sat on the plane and after 1,5h I came home. From that day on I go to rehabilitation 3 days in a week and in the meantime I work at home. I also do electro stimulation at home for my back and legs. After they removed the stitches I can also swim. In a few days, I will go on my bike at home. My friend is making me a special bike with a high handlebar and I will start with 10 minutes and then every day a few minutes more. If everything will be as fine as it seems now, I expect to be back on the bike in September and on the races in the beginning of the next season.”

On the press conference was present also team’s coach, Paolo Artuso, who also commented Ion’s recovery: »Last Wednesday I went with Ion to the clinic in Vitoria and spoke with his physiotherapist. He explained that Ion’s recovery is quite fast, faster than we expected. Ion can start biking 6 to 7 weeks after the surgery on the special bike at home. Our goal in this moment is not to lose too many muscle tone and keep his legs strong. That is why they do a lot of electrostimulation in the rehabilitation and at home. We expect that he will be back on the road on his bike in September or latest October if everything will continue to go in this tempo.«

“Most important now is that we don’t exaggerate, that we move forward slowly, that we are careful and closely monitor his pain and his feelings, that should get better and better. He will have a medical check before he goes on the road again. We will not risk anything and will go step by step to be well prepared for the next season,” concluded Artuso.

BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is happy that the recovery of one of our most important riders is going so well and giving him all the support he needs we are already waiting for Ion to join us again on his bike.