Matti on the road to recovery:
photo: Jorma Lehikoinen
The doctors have confirmed that Matti will not need an operation to stabilise the fractured vertebrae. This is great news for Matti who has been dreading the idea of a major operation.
Due to the position of the breaks (no.4 has one fracture and no.5 has two fractures), it would have meant operating from the front, going in through the chest cavity, which is obviously a much more delicate and complicated operation. The doctors have confirmed there are no floating bones pieces, which is also good news. However, they have said that should the vertebrae shift in position, they will need to review the matter.
"Obviously I have to keep my back straight and not bend forward or do anything to risk the movement of the vertebrae. Yesterday I was vomiting from the painkillers and it was the most painful puke ever! I had to keep my back straight and it was pretty bad, but last night was my first full night of sleep, so things are getting better," said Matti this morning.
It is anticipated that Matti will be transfered from hospital in the coming days to a recovery and rehabilitation centre.
Matti has been overwhelmed by the number of messages and well wishes. This morning Matti received a call from former Downhill World Champion, Vanessa Quin, who called form New Zealand. This meant a lot to Matti as Vanessa has had more than her fair share of neck/spinal injuries and was able to give Matti some very reassuring words.
MS INTENSE FACTORY RACING confirm the signing of Matti Lehikoinen for a multi-year deal, starting for season 2008.
After years of working with great riders like Chris Kovarik, Sabrina Jonnier or Vanessa Quin it is time for MS- INTENSE RACING to form a new team with a new figurehead to continue the successful racing history of Intense Cycles.
Now it is time to make history again and Matti is the right person for this big assignment.
Three days after signing with his new team, MS INTENSE FACTORY RACING, Matti had a serious accident when filming with a friend in Helsinki. The accident resulted in breaking three vertebras.
The team wishes Matti a fast recovery and is in constant contact to monitor his progress. The team is looking forward seeing him back on the bike again in the coming months.
His outstanding biking skills, his technical knowledge and his professional attitude make him one of the best young racers and we are looking forward working with him. Riding for great teams like G Cross Honda he showed his potential and he will lead MS Intense Racing into a successful future. Our long-term partners Intense Cycles, Manitou, Intense Tires and Shimano are welcoming the new team member.
Statement of Martin Whiteley: " In the last two years, Matti has grown as a professional rider. Originally brought into Team G Cross Honda as the "junior" rider, Matti quickly progressed and has proven over the last 12 months that he is now ready to be a lead rider in his own team. It's a natural progression from being the 2nd rider to lead, and this move from Team G cross Honda to MS Intense makes perfect sense for Matti, who is excited at the prospect of helping the team steer towards future consistent successes...
Martin Whiteley, 23 Degrees Sports Management
Statement of Jeff Steber: We are really excited to have Matti on board next season. His talent as a racer, focus and personality will be an asset to the MS Intense Racing program. The combination of Matti's strong race performances and new product line-up for 2008 will take the race program to the next level.
Jeff Steber , President , Designer,Intense Cycles
Written by 23 Degrees
The latest news is all good news as Matti ends his 2nd day in hospital. The doctors have confirmed that there is no risk of paralysis and that a decision on whether or not to operate, will be taken on Monday.
Today Matti had his catheter removed, was able to sit up for a small time and eat, and with the assistance of a special walking crutch/frame, was able to walk(!) a short distance to the bathroom.
Matti had a non-stop run of visitors today during visitor hours, starting with his parents, followed by dozens of friends. His mobile phone was handed back, and it had more than 100 SMS messages from the past 24 hours. All of this is helping Matti remain positive and determined to get back on his feet properly.
While talking to Matti today, more details came to light about the accident.
"I landed directly onto my head, but slightly to the right. The helmet is marked on the top at the right. Also I have a big skin abrasion on my right collarbone where the jawline of the helmet cut me, that's how far over my head was. The doctors feel that on impact my spine twisted one way, and then the next, like a zig zag, and they say it's a miracle it's not a lot worse. The three vertebrae have what they call a compressed fracture. They are in the area of the spine that are level with the chest. I'm still in pain but can breathe fairly comfortably, but I want to thank everyone who has contacted me with nice messages, it makes you realise how lucky you are to have so many friends and people that care, and that makes me want to get better as soon as possible."
The doctors are predicting that with or without the operation, Matti will remain hospitalised for another 2 or 3 weeks, then start 3 months of rehabilitation. It will be a further couple of months before he can expect to put any regular athletic demands on his back again.
We hope to have another update on Monday.
Original PR below...
While training and filming with a friend in Helsinki yesterday, Matti
Lehikoinen had an accident that resulted in breaking his back.
Matti was immediately transferred to hospital where a series of scans have
confirmed 3 fractured vertabrae.
He has movemovent in all limbs and is not feeling any numbness, and so at
this point, the prognosis for a full recovery is looking very good. The
doctors are meeting today to decide what the next step will be, insofar as
an operation or other courses of action.
"I spoke to Matti for 10 minutes this morning. He's in a lot of pain, but he
is remaining completely positive. He told me that he went to go off a very
small drop off, about a meter high, on his home trails when something caught
his rear wheel just as his front wheel left the drop off. The bike pitched
suddenly forward and threw him over the handlebars onto his back. He knew
immediately that he had suffered a severe injury, and remained still as his
mate called for the ambulance. Right now all we can do is wait for more
information from the medical experts, and support Matti, and his family who
have been very shocked by this news," - Martin Whiteley.
Poeple wishing to send Matti a message can do so through his web site
www.mattilehikoinen.com and we know he will really appreciate hearing from
everyone once he can have access to his phone and computer again, but for
now, the focus is on keeping him comfortable, and getting the prognosis we
all want to hear.
The MS- RACING crew wishes you a quick recovery- get well soon buddy!
World record shattered! Speed biking on snow at 210 km/h.
Austria’s Markus Stoeckl, 33, set a new world record at the weekend for series mountain bikes on a renovated high-speed La Parva run in the Chile’s Alps when he hit a speed of 210.4 km/h (130.7 mph). He shattered an eight-year-old record by an incredible 23 km/h (14 mph).
photo: Stefan Stau/ sports and news
For years there was little news to report about speedbikes on snow, the world’s fastest vehicles without propulsion. In the 1990s, there had been a number of classic, unforgettable duels between two Frenchmen, Eric Baronè und Christian Taillefer, who set a series world speed records as they sped down the French Alps clad in rubber suits and aerodynamic helmets with spoilers attached to their bodies while riding on futuristic speeding projectiles that had only a faint resemblance to bicycles. The only other racer who came even close to keeping up with the French duo was a young man from Kitzbühel, Markus Stoeckl. Because he could not afford an expensive prototype at the time, he rode in the series bike class and managed to set a world record in that category at 187.013 km/h at Les Arches in 1999. Eric Baronè’s record in the prototype class of 222 km/h had stood since it was set at the same time.
After that, interest in France dropped off, as Markus Stoeckl explains: no races, no championships, no runs. Since then, the giant nicknamed “Hercules“ (he weighs 100 kg, or 220 pounds, and stands 1.90 metres, or 6 foot 4 inches tall) has taken part in “normal“ downhill races, founded his own company, and set up his own World Cup team “MS Intense Racing“. He was on an assignment in Portugal when he found out that the old speed track in La Parva, Chile was being renovated. He did not hesitate and quickly jumped on a plane to South America after hurriedly packing his old helmet, speedsuit and his new “Intense M6“ bike.
Just seven days later, on Friday, 14 September at 11:18 a.m., Stoeckl was standing at the highest-possible starting point directly beneath the cliffs in front of a 2000 meter long and 45-degree steep slope. The conditions for the record run were far from ideal. Because South America’s springtime weather had melted away much of the snow alongside the piste, shrinking it to a narrow strip set up between bare mountain cliffs, it was not possible to gradually raise the starting point for test runs. The final test run took place from a spot that was hundreds of metres below the starting point where a top speed of 178 km/h was recorded.
Because the protective visor on his helmet kept fogging over, Stoeckl was also forced to hold his breath for the 40-second run. “I knew that this would be my only chance,“ he said. The record run went off without a hitch. There were no problems whatsoever and despite hitting a speed of 210.4 km/h it all seemed somehow unspectacular.
Markus Stoeckl has now tasted success and he wants to try to break the other age-old records set by Eric Baronè – but with better preparation and first-rate material. Fernando Habash, who is in charge of the La Parva ski resort, has promised he would have a course suitable for records set up.
source: Stefan Stau/ sports and news
check out the movie
Mio Suemasa, Japanese guest rider of the MS-INTENSE FACTORY-RACING team and powered by Fun Fancy, strikes again at the World Cup season finals in Maribor/ Slovenija. After a streak of good results she crowned her 4X season with a 2nd place in the race and a 3rd place in the overall 4X ranking.
source: www.sportbild.at photo: Martin Steiger
Due to her successful 4X season finish Mio was aiming for a good DH result as well. A 4th place in the seeding run made her dream of the podium but after a top 4 split time it was a little mistake that finally let her finish in 9th place.
Nevertheless it has been a great weekend for her and we've been happy to have her with us in the 2007 season.
Visit www.nissan-ucimtbworldcup.com for the results #6 UCI World Cup 2007 Maribor/ Slovenia
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