Keagan Girdlestone continues to defy what doctors told him after his near-death crash in Italy last June by entering the Le Race — a 100 kilometre race.
After a severed carotid artery in his neck and the jugular vein, along with nerve and muscle damage, Girdlestone was told he wouldn’t race again. However, despite the left-side of his body being un-coordinated and shaky due to the strokes and 30 per cent of the right-hand side of his brain being dead, his remarkable recovery continues.
“It is an honour to be given number one and I will feel very privileged lining up on the start line, and I look forward to finishing with it pinned on my back,” Girdlestone said. “I’m very honoured that Hayden (Roulston) has given up his number one for me to use on Saturday.”
“For Keagan to wear that number, it’s pretty special,” Roulston said. “If it hadn’t been for the accident he would have won the race again, and who knows how many times, as he’s such a talent. For him to have number one it signifies just how far he’s come in such a short time. He’s very lucky to be alive and riding a bike.”
“I’d really like to finish the race under three hours,” Girdlestone said. “I think it’s a reasonable expectation but it will be pushing my limits, which of course is what I like. The body is much better, slowly adapting to the load of training I’m doing and the right arm is also improving a lot,” he said. “Compared to a few months ago the difference is quite vast.”