An Australian cyclist has been brought out of an induced coma after a horror first-lap crash that left several riders injured on Sunday morning.
Ben Carman was among the National Road Series competitors hospitalised following a collision with a parked police motorbike.
The 25-year-old escaped any head injuries but he was rushed to hospital in an induced coma following a serious leg injury.
Surgeons at Gold Coast University Hospital operated on his tibia, fibula and patella before he was moved to recovery late on Sunday night.
Carman, who had won stage seven on Friday, uploaded a photo of himself smiling and offering a thumbs-up from his hospital bed on Monday.
“Thank you everyone for all the love and support, it has blown me away,” he wrote.
“I am awake and out of surgery, but don’t have a whole lot of information regarding the extent of the damage myself yet.
“At the moment it looks like I will be in hospital for little while, but I am getting well looked after.”
The remainder of men’s running for the day, the last of the nine-day event, was abandoned by National Road Series officials after a number of teams left the site.
“We’ve been shaken to the core by today’s events,” Carman’s team Nero Continental wrote after he was airlifted to hospital.
“We (like you) know the toughness of this man and trust if there is one character who can come through this … it is Benny!”
The pile-up occured when Cameron Scott came across the police motorbike, with SBS reporting others in the peloton guessed they were travelling at up to 60km/h at the time.
Scott reportedly sustained a fractured pelvis while others with broken bones included Aidan Buttigieg (collarbone), Tom Chapman (tibia) and Liam White (shoulder).
Ben Metcalfe, Tom Bolton, Thomas de Domencio and Daniel de Domencio were also injured but well.
The police officer reportedly suffered an arm injury after they were caught up in the collision.
“Heavy crash at today’s NRS race. Thoughts go out to the riders involved,” Chapman wrote.
“All the best for a speedy recovery and I hope the vibes are as high as they can be! Thank you to the medical staff out on the road for all your efforts.”