Brandt loses kidney after horror crash

Davitamon-Lotto's Christophe Brandt has been placed in a drug-induced coma after a high-speed crash

Davitamon-Lotto's Christophe Brandt has been placed in a drug-induced coma after a high-speed crash

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Christophe Brandt had a kidney removed and was placed in a drug-induced coma following a terrible fall in Tuesday's Coupe Sels race in Belgium. Having only recently returned to racing after fracturing an elbow at the Giro in May, the 29-year-old Davitamon-Lotto rider also broke the upper part of his arm, badly damaged his spleen and received four broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung, causing it to collapse when he was one of several riders to crash after just five kilometres of the race.

Brandt, who has recently signed a two-year contract extension with his team, was taken to hospital in Braaschat, where he was put into a coma until Friday "in order to stop him suffering and ease his recovery" Davitamon DS Herman Frison told La Dernire Heure. Surgeons at the hospital were forced to remove one of his kidneys after his renal artery was severed.

"It was frightening" said Frison. "The crash came only a few kilometres into the race, and involved about 10 riders. Christophe was vomiting blood and was immediately put into an ambulance. He was still conscious at that point."

Brandt was not initially due to take part in the Sels event, but decided to ride after illness forced him out of last week's ENECO Tour. "He wanted to be competitive for the Tour of Poland and so he decided to ride in the Coupe Sels," explained Frison. "They have told me his life is not in danger, that anyone can live with just one kidney, but they haven't been able to tell me if someone can compete at the top level with just one kidney. I really hope this fall does not mean the end of Christophe's career."

Another rider who saw the incident at close hand said that Brandt had hit a road sign full on when riding at 50 kilometres an hour.

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