Crash keeps Brazilian rider in hospital as dust settles on BMX World Champs

2010-08-04 00:00

THE UCI BMX World Championships certainly provided its fair share of thrills and spills, and nobody knows that better than Brazilian rider Vinny Moreira. He is still confined to a bed in Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg after a serious accident during a race on Friday morning.

Moreira had won all of his heats in the Men’s Elite Masters (30+) category and was leading the final and looking like a certainty to win gold before a crash on the last jump of the course ended his dreams of a victory.

Medics rushed to Moreira’s aid and he was immediately taken to hospital, where it turned out that he had broken four ribs and cracked his hip.

“I knew right away that something was wrong,” said a surprisingly cheerful Moreira.

Moreira was representing Brazil at the World Championships, but he is based in the United States, with his wife and two sons.

Moreira is not sure if his family have been told of his injury.

“I tried to contact them, but my [cellphone] battery went dead, so I hope somebody has told them.”

Doctors say Moreira will have to stay in hospital for another three days at least.

Although he did not have to undergo surgery and he is able to move around using crutches, Moreira remains uncertain about his future in the sport.

“I will have to get it checked out properly once I return home and they will be able to tell me if and when I can ride again,” said the 34-year-old.

Moreira’s team manager is still in Pietermaritzburg waiting for him and another Brazilian rider, who suffered a burst spleen and is in St Anne’s Hospital, to recover before they all return home.

“I wouldn’t mind going to see a safari now that I’ve stayed in the country longer than anticipated,” joked Moreira.

As the champion in the Men’s 30+ category at last year’s World Championships in Australia, Moreira was also due to race on Sunday in the Cruiser class category, but he missed out because of the accident.

“I’ve gone through four months of intense training all for one event,” said Moreira.

“But that is the nature of the sport. You can be looking good and it can all change in one second.”

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