World Cup downhill/four-cross racer Dan Atherton had a ‘halo’ brace attached to his skull yesterday after suffering serious spinal injuries in a dirt jumping crash.
Dan was riding at his local trails in Llanfyllin last Tuesday when he messed up a jump and landed on his head. He was taken to nearby Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where X-rays and a CT scan showed he had fractured his C1 and C2 vertebrae.
He has been keeping his fans updated via Twitter, where on Monday he admitted he was “so, so happy to be breathing”. Yesterday he added: “Just had a brace bolted to my skull. Should hold it steady so I can eat me porridge!”
Atherton Racing team director Dan Brown said: “On the positive side, Dan has full movement in all his limbs and at present there is no damage to the nerves that pass through the central spinal column.
“As long as everything goes to plan with his recovery we should hopefully see Dan on a bike by the end of the year. Our sympathies are with Dan and the rest of the Atherton family at this time, and any well wishes to Dan can be made via the team’s Facebook page.”
At the time of writing, over 300 people had left messages of support for Dan and his family at www.facebook.com/athertonracing. Before the accident, Dan was lying ninth overall in the UCI World Cup Four-Cross series.