Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Rider’s condition remains ‘critical’

AFP , SANTIAGO AND FIAMBALA, ARGENTINA

Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero was still in a coma and in a critical condition on Wednesday 24 hours after crashing heavily during the 10th stage of the Dakar Rally, a hospital director said.

“The night went well. There were no further complications,” said Omar Luz. “However he remains in a critical condition.”

The 48-year-old father of two, who was riding in his first Dakar Rally and was 76th overall, will undergo further scans in particular to establish if there is any brain damage

Guerrero, who was suffering from an oedema on the brain, fell at the 160km mark of the stage.

Race organizers were forced to reduce yesterday’s 12th stage of the Dakar Rally between Fiambala and Rioja by 33km because the competitors were due to traverse precious archeological sites.

“We were warned after reconnoitring the stage of several archeological sites and logically we rediced the distance of the special,” race director Etienne Lavigne told the competitors at the daily briefing.

It was the fifth stage to be reduced in distance since it started in Buenos Aires on Jan. 3.

Wednesday’s stage was cancelled altogether because of a bad weather forecast.

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