After being hospitalized for several weeks due to a road accident in South Africa where he and teammate Laurens De Plus were clipped by a truck while training, Petr Vakoč has finally returned to his home in Prague for good.
The accident happened at the end of January and left Petr with several broken vertebrae that needed surgery, followed by a long period of complete rest, but since the past week, the 25-year-old Czech began a focused rehabilitation program, which he now looks forward to continue from his home in Prague.
"I can't tell you how great it is to be back home after such a long time in the hospital, first in South Africa and most recently in Prague, at the Motol University Hospital. Of course, it is tough being sidelined with a view to a long rehabilitation period when all you want is to ride your bike, but I am feeling lucky knowing I will come back again", Petr said.
"It will take some months before I return to competition, but I am really motivated and it is a great comfort knowing I am in good hands with the team and my family. I have just pedaled for the first time at my home, after hanging a bike from my ceiling and mounting it to a Tacx trainer. I am still not allowed to pedal seated but I am so happy I can start moving the legs and work to get back to the pack!"
Over the next period, Petr will continue his rehabilitation program, which looks to steadily build up his body strength again while limiting stress on the back, followed closely by the local specialists and the team's medical staff, who confirmed that his physical condition is progressing well. It's still too early to say exactly when a comeback in full competitive mode can be made but if everything stays on track, Petr and the team hope it will be before the end of the season.
"Since the accident, I have followed the races of my teammates and enjoyed their victories, so now I am even more eager and motivated to be back and do some great cycling races, thus giving you all a show as thanks for all the support and recovery messages I have received since the accident, which have meant a lot to me!"
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers