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Update on Injured Australian Cyclists

Yaxley and Rhodes continue to make progress


Joint update from Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission

Released -  15 Aug

The recovery of South Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes, 20, and her team mate Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, remains on track as the pair continue their rehabilitation at the University Clinic in Jena, Germany.

The pair, along with Kate Nichols, 20, Katie Brown, 22, and Lorian Graham, 27, were injured last month when a teenage female driver lost control of her vehicle, crossed to the other side of the road and ploughed into the six member Australian women's team. Champion cyclist and Olympic rower, Amy Gillett (nee Safe), 29, was killed instantly and the other five riders admitted to hospital with varying injuries. The team was training for the Thueringen Tour due to start the next day.

Nichols, Brown and Graham have since returned to Australia to continue their recovery. Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, received an update overnight from the doctors treating Rhodes and Yaxley and says the news remains encouraging.

"Louise is going gangbusters and her recovery is getting better and better from day to day," said Prof. Fricker. "Doctors conducted some routine scans of her head and say the bruising has resolved itself and there are no neurological signs to be concerned about.

"All her stitches have been taken out, the wounds have healed and the skin grafts to both arms have taken well," he said. "The pins and screws put into her fractures are also showing a good healing response.

"Doctors are now thinking about taking the pins out of her elbow and putting it in a splint instead so she can begin to exercise it."

Both Yaxley and Rhodes have been moving freely around the hospital and have amazed everyone with their high spirits and positive attitudes.

"Everyone is so happy with the way they have rallied and the progress they are making," said Prof. Fricker with Yaxley expected to fly home by the end of the month.

"Alexis may be in the hospital a little longer than Louise because of the nature of her injuries," said Prof. Fricker. Rhodes suffered a damaged lung in the accident. "She was due to undergo x-rays overnight ahead of a procedure to assist her recovery from the chest trauma and she won't be able to fly for a while after that.

"But the doctors say the broken bones in her back are knitting well and she is enthusiastically pursuing the exercise regime that has been put in place for her," said Prof. Fricker.

Amy's family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honour her memory. The Foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured team mates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship program for promising female cyclists and promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorist

People wishing to donate to the Amy Gillett-SafeFoundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au    and follow the links from the home page.

Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to www.cycling.org.au and follow the link on the home page. Messages can also be sent via the Australian Sports Commission website www.ausport.gov.au




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