Slipstream-Chipotle rider Timmy Duggan, who crashed violently on a descent during stage 3 of the Tour de Georgia, is expected to make a full recovery and will be released from the hospital soon.
The team’s Web site said Duggan underwent surgery on his collarbone on Friday. The site said he will continue to recover at the hospital.
Team chiropractor Kevin Reichlin told VeloNews that Duggan suffered a broken clavicle and scapula and suffered mild brain hemorrhaging, but is expected to make a full recovery with no neurological damage.
Duggan went down in a crash with Health Net-Maxxis rider Corey Collier and Toyota-United’s Ben Day when their tires sunk into a two-inch wide crack in the road Wednesday.
Collier was first to crash, at speeds over 45 mph, shattering his carbon fiber Cannondale. Duggan launched over the Health Net rider, landing hard on his helmet and shoulder. While both Day and Collier were able to continue, Duggan lay on the ground in convulsions and was transported by ambulance to Athens Regional.
The crash caused a pause in the racing, and riders were reminded of Duggan’s injuries when the ambulance drove through the race caravan and peloton approximately 15 minutes after the crash.
“European guys, guys I hardly know, were asking us all day, ‘How’s your rider? Is he okay?’” Slipstream’s Tom Danielson said. “When things like that happen, it really makes me question if I want to keep racing my bike.”
Reichlin was following the race alongside Dr. Allen Lim in Slipstream’s rear race caravan vehicle during stage 3. Following the crash, Reichlin got out as medics attended to Duggan. He then accompanied Duggan in an ambulance to the hospital.
Reichlin, who like Duggan, lives in Boulder, Colorado, and has known the Slipstream rider for four years, acknowledged that Duggan initially suffered a seizure, and that for moments his future lay in question.
“He was having a hard time,” Reichlin said. “But the staff was great. The race doctors were there within 30 seconds. We got him in the ambulance, to the hospital. They were great. We knew in the ambulance, he was moving his hands and his feet, so you knew he was okay. But he had a bad head injury, and he was in a lot of pain. And thank you so much to the EMT who was with me in the ambulance, he’s a local guy, but he helped me out so much.”
Duggan’s parents and wife Lauren traveled to Georgia late Wednesday. He was unable to be reached for comment Thursday, as Reichlin said he was under heavy pain medication.
“He’s in a lot of pain. The clavicle is bad enough, but the scapula really hurts a lot,” Reichlin said. “It’s a hard fracture. And he’s got a massive headache. He’s got a bad concussion.”
Reichlin said the Slipstream rider was scheduled to undergo a second brain scan Thursday, and if everything checked out he would be free to leave some time Friday.
“There was a small amount of hemorrhaging on both sides of his brain, which was consistent with the head trauma he had,” Reichlin said. “But everything checks out. Neurologically he’s going to be okay. He’s in a lot of pain, but he’s tough.”