Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters has taken her first steps since suffering severe brain damage in a training crash in Alicante in December.

The 31-year-old, a three-time Madison world champion, only regained consciousness in April after being put in an induced coma following surgery.

She is recovering in a Netherlands intensive neuro-rehabilitation centre.

A statement on her website said Pieters could “walk for short moments when supported” but could not yet talk.

“Lately, it’s been a little more difficult to motivate Amy with physical exercises,” the statement read.

“Talking is not yet possible, which makes it difficult to explain herself. Not being able to explain or express herself is sometimes a bit difficult for her and also for us.

“Fortunately, she can be motivated by playing a game. We take it for granted that she chooses her own moment. And that moment comes because suddenly she is standing!

“With a little help, she gets up from her chair and takes her own steps. She walks for short moments when supported. This is what we like to see.

“Amy sets the pace. There are days when she doesn’t want to show this again, and then there comes another day when she wants to stand, starts walking, and immediately makes a serious effort.”

Pieters has also been able to cycle along on a side-by-side tandem bike.

In 2021, she became the Madison world champion on the track, alongside Kirsten Wild, for the third consecutive year and won stage two of the Women’s Tour on the road. She also won the Dutch national road race and Nokere Koerse earlier in the year.

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