Update on Injured Australian
Yaxley and Rhodes and Yaxley
update from Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission
Released - 19 Aug
Australian Alexis Rhodes, 20, and Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, will fly
home from Germany soon after doctors this week gave them the all clear to
The pair, along with Sydney's Kate Nichols, 20 and Katie Brown, 22, and
Queenslander 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 Thüringen Tour due to start the
Nichols, Brown and Graham have already returned to Australia and
Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, says the
doctors treating Rhodes and Yaxley have deemed it safe for them to fly
home. Flight details will not be released as both the riders and their
families have indicated they will not speak to media on the day they
arrive home. Media interviews with both riders will be arranged based on
advice from the riders as to their willingness and availability contingent
on their treatment and rehabilitation schedules.
Rhodes suffered serious chest trauma and spinal injuries including
fractures of parts of her thoracic spine and seven broken bones in her
"Alexis underwent a procedure on the weekend to her left lung which
went extremely well and has assisted in speeding her recovery," said
Professor Fricker. "There are no complications and no signs of
infection and this week she went for a half hour walk outside the hospital
with no problems.
"When she returns home she will continue her rehabilitation and there
will be some medical follow up work to make sure her lungs and broken
bones continue to heal," he said.
Yaxley suffered head and chest trauma and sustained a puncture wound to
her abdomen. She also suffered a broken wrist and severe grazes and
abrasions to both arms and legs. She has already undergone successful skin
graft surgery on her arms.
"Louise is improving in leaps and bounds and because she's responded
so well it's likely she'll have surgery in the next few weeks to remove
the pins from her left wrist," said Professor Fricker. "There
are no ongoing problems with the wound in her abdomen and her heart, lungs
and liver are all terrific."
Yaxley will need, in the short term, assistance at home with feeding and
dressing because of the skin grafts and surgery she has undergone on both
"I can't speak highly enough of the ongoing work of the doctors in
Germany," said Professor Fricker. "They have not only excelled
with the treatment they provided for all five women but they have now gone
overboard to provide us with detailed medical histories covering the past
month and recommendations for ongoing treatment.
"In a couple of months time after the girls have settled back in
Australia we'll be extending an invitation for them to come to the
Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra so they can undergo intensive
daily physiotherapy," said Professor Fricker.
The riders, their families, Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports
Commission would also like to thank Qantas, Singapore Airlines, airport
staff and officers from the Customs and Quarantine Services for the
assistance they have provided for the riders' travel.
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 motorists.
People wishing to donate to the Amy Gillett-Safe Foundation should visit the Cycling
Australia website at www.cycling.org.au
and follow the links from the home page.
Want to contact
WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the
address is :
Type this address into the
"To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email
address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email
received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses
displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the
address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any
inconvenience this approach causes you.
Back to top