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Recovery will be slow process says Movistar team

Juan Mauricio Soler has been transferred via a medical flight to a hospital in his European home base of Pamplona.

The flight, which took place on Saturday morning, saw the Columbian Movistar rider, who received serious brain and other injuries in a crash at the Tour de Suisse, accompanied back to Spain from hospital in the Swiss town of St Gallen by his wife and brother-in-law.

Doctors at St Gallen’s Kantonsspital have expressed their concern about what they describe as “serious cognitive deficits” in his condition, observed since he was brought out of a medically-induced coma. Having spent three weeks in intensive care at the Swiss hospital, the rider will continue what his cycling team describe as “slow, yet positive progress” at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, in Pamplona.

There, he will be subject to a battery of tests in the coming weeks to further determine the extent of the damage to his brain caused by the fractured skull and cerebral edema he suffered when he crashed at speed into a wall.

The rider’s Movistar team, which in addition to Soler’s accident has also had to endure the death of its rider Xavier Tondo in a freak accident in May, received a welcome boost at the Tour de France when Rui Costa won Stage 8. The Portuguese rider dedicated the win to Tondo and Soler, both of whom were scheduled to ride the Tour.