Mauricio Soler moved today from Switzerland to Spain, recovery continues
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mauricio Soler moved today from Switzerland to Spain, recovery continues

by Shane Stokes at 6:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Rider faces long road back due to cognitive defects

Mauricio SolerThree weeks and two days after his serious crash at the Tour de Suisse, Team Movistar rider Mauricio Soler has been transferred from Switzerland to the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra in Pamplona, near his in-season base.

The Colombian rider left the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital St. Gallen in Switzerland today, and was brought to a medical aircraft for his flight. His wife and brother in law accompanied him, and were met by team representatives on their arrival.

“The Latin American rider will go through complete checks during the upcoming weeks to continue with the slow, yet positive progress on the injuries caused by the accident,” said the team in a statement today.

There was worrying news this week when the Associated Press reported that doctors treating him had detected signs of what was termed “serious cognitive deficits”. These became apparent when he was brought out of the induced coma he had been in; according to hospital spokesman Philipp Lutz, the rider appears to have suffered brain injuries in his crash. He is reported as being able to follow simple commands and move his limbs, but not to be able to speak.

He also indicated that he is having trouble swallowing and that a lot of neurological rehabilitation lies ahead. However it was determined that he was well enough to be moved to the Pamplona hospital.

Soler came to prominence in the 2007 Tour de France when he won a stage plus the King of the Mountains title. His career was hampered by a number of crashes since then, plus resulting wrist and knee problems, but he returned to form in this year’s Tour de Suisse when he beat Damiano Cuengo (Lampre-ISD) and Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek) to win the mountain stage.

He took over the race lead and while Cuengo moved ahead of him the following day, he was sitting second overall and still very much in contention until his crash.

Soler’s wife spoke this week to the website revistamundociclistico and said that she was satisfied with how he had been treated thus far. “The doctors who have treated him from the outset have done everything in their power. His behaviour has been of a high professional level and I have nothing but words of praise and thanksgiving for them.

“Nothing will be easy from here on out because we do not know what consequences of the accident will be, and how we'll find Mauricio as he regains consciousness… He has already had some moves, actions and reactions that fill us with hope, but these are sporadic and then back to the point where everything is the hope of a better tomorrow. "

She showed her appreciation for the support they have received, thanking "all those in Colombia and around the world who have joined us with their prayers, we have sent thousands of messages and who have expressed their solidarity. Mauricio and our family will always remember this difficult time for the generosity of those who have been with us from the start in this difficult time. May God bless them all.”


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