Ines Thoma Out Of EWS Whistler

Aug 7, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ines Thoma posted a pic to her Instagram where she's wearing a neck brace in a hospital bed in Whistler after having a rather horrible crash suffering from a broken her C5, L1 and nose. Luckily Ines said that she is due to make a full recovery and will be back riding again soon.

Ines was sitting just 10 points behind Katy Winton for 3rd place in the women's EWS overall, and the Canyon team she races for is currently leading the team overall.

bigquotesSometimes you win. Sometimes you loose. Unfortunately my Whistler flow took a sharp turn today. Long story briefly told: had a decent face plant on a training ride and broke C5, L1 and my nose ????????. But I’m so lucky, got amazing help from all the rescue crew, super friendly medical stuff in the hospital and Max was there dealing calm and great with the situation. No surgery needed, just small cracks. So I have to sit still for a couple of weeks and will be back on the bike soon.Ines Thoma

We all wish you a speedy recovery, Ines!


  • + 40
 That's how fast something like this happens, luckily no permanent consequences for her. Hope you get well soon! Always remember how fast a crash can happen that might change your whole life, and cherish every day you're healthy!
  • + 4
  • + 14
 That is a bit crap but it also reminds me all the time of these 'enduro' tracks everyone rides with open face helmets and barely any other protection. It is so easy to think nothing that bad can happen on a 'trail' rather than own a DH track.. Luckily for her it is 'just small cracks' - which on a spine probably means a year off the bike and a lifetime of back pain. I briefly met Ines in Madeira a few years ago! Wishing her all the best healing vibes!
  • + 1
 So true. I just went for a "mellow" trail ride the other day. Open face, minimal pads and BAM! 5 days in hospital.

Hope she heals up soon.
  • + 16
 Calculated risks. Not going to go on XC rides with full face and body armour just cause there's a chance of something catastrophic happening, which of course there is. Up to the rider to decide on that balance.
  • + 4
 I tend to agree. At the speeds these days silly not to wear a FF most of the time
  • - 15
flag Tmackstab (Aug 8, 2018 at 8:34) (Below Threshold)
 One time I was riding Whistler and my buddy shows up in a full dainese body suit, neck brace, full face etc etc. Dude was crashing absolutely everywhere and he wasn't a bad rider. I was like wtf is wrong with you man? 'IM SO HOT!!!' was his reply. He geared down at the bottom to just a Full face and knee pads I had and the rest of the day he rode great. Full protection isn't always the best choice.
  • + 11
 @Tmackstab: On the other hand.... maybe he was just riding more cautiously...

I agree with the heat factor, and it is up to everyone to calculate their own risks, however, people are riding much harder 'enduro' trails at warp speed, something that was only available on earlier days only DH parks and tracks offered. More capable bikes also inspire to ride out of our skill levels. And don't forget peer pressure and elevated testosterone levels when riding with your buddies...
A broken back can get you paralysis for life, a broken neck death if you are lucky (or being connected to a breathing machine until the rest of your body expires).. I don't want to sound lecturing, I sometimes risk it a bit on trails... but this could be avoided by some extra padding.

As much as 'being cautious and calculated comes into the pre-ride talk, when you are on the trail you just rail it, we have all been there.
  • + 30
 @Ricardo-Sa: As a former mountainbiker who is paralysed from the waist down after a crash:

This might sound weird, but please forget about the possible consequences and just enjoy! Accidents happen and very rarely do they result in permanent injury or death. I had a very silly non-racing crash. Just a slip of concentration on a very easy trail and I hear a lot of similar cases. In a race, you are hyper focused and that's how it should be. I'd advise everyone to just ride smart, don't do anything overly stupid, put on the right protection, keep good flow and have fun.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately, what you say is true. I have had two fractures in vertebra. Back pain is a constant result. It can be mitigated by massage, stretching and strengthening, but it will be with her moving forward. Also, 'a few weeks' is not realistic. It's at least 6 weeks minimum for light use. A proper full recovery with PT and ample healing time is the better way to go.
  • + 1
 I never go full enduro, never ever when going fast down (mid face, goggles, short sleeve)... I dont care if Im melting... light back protection or camelback, knee and at least some light elbow pads, gloves and FF....
  • + 3
 Agree with everyone. I guess my point was that you need to find a balance between safety and comfort because if you're uncomfortable you'll crash. Kind of a catch 22 imo.
  • + 2
 @jeroenk: Sorry to hear about that mate! It is my worst nightmare! You are right, it can happen to anyone, anytime. Enjoyment should always be there, we should not be looking like a power ranger and feeling like an 12th century knight in armour that can't even move!

All I am saying, is that we should take a bit more care of ourselves, in the way we should be sensible about it. There are plenty light armour options nowadays, not so warm, that can just take the edge of an impact and save us from permanent damage. I have seen it time after time (going both ways).

All the best to you and massive thumbs up for your intervention and continuing to follow the sport!
  • + 9
 Lot of healing vibes!!!! Get back soon but take your time for full recovery!
  • + 8
 Major bummer! Get well soon!
  • + 7
 Oh no! Good vibes your way, Ines!
  • + 1
 I have to admit to some Whistleritis on occasion, I ride the park with hard shell knee/shin pads and a full face helmet, but because I know there is a Patrol on hand I can push my limits a bit more riding close to 100% all the time. When I am out alone on a long ride I am more careful and wear less padding riding at more like 70 to 80%.

Whistler can bite you on the ass so quickly once you get a bit comfortable!
  • + 1
 Things can go wrong so fast. I am glad that she expects a full recovery. Take your time out there guys and stay safe! We all assume the risk of riding just as much as we do when we drive a vehicle.
  • + 2
 Crashes suck. Major injuries suck. Glad to hear that the crash although extreme is one the rider is going to be ok
  • + 3
 Heal up
  • + 2
 Great to see she has a good sense of humour!
  • + 1
 Cracked my c4 riding 3 weeks ago, sorry for your crash and I feel your pain. Get well!!! Keep smiling.
  • + 2
 Healing up soon and solid Ines!
  • + 1
 C5 and L1, that's freaking scary.
  • + 2
 Healing vibes Ines
  • + 1
 Hey get well soon! And stay off your bike toe heal! ????
  • + 0
 Also lucky that didn't happen in the US.
  • + 0
 Why is that? She is German. Regardless, emergency services will take care of you no matter of nationality, coverage, accident type, etc.. I ride bike parks weekly and see crashes and the EMT/resort medical take folks of all types, incomes, insurance or not. I have several friends and family in the medical field and she is NO way would be turned down for emergency services.
  • + 0
 Look up EMTALA if you are trying to infer that she would be turned away in her situation
  • + 1
 :face to palm:
  • + 0
 @bman33: I'm sure your president will reverse EMTALA.
  • + 0
 @jaydawg69: Zero chance of it. Call me out if it ever happens
  • + 4
 @bman33: It's just the bills afterwards if you're not covered. An ambulance ride costs thousands on it's own.
  • + 0
 @LoganKM1982: if you are broke, you can have them written off. Been there, done that. Ambulance, the EMT's, the medicine/drugs are not free and don't come out of nowhere. Our system needs work. However, folks saying everything should 'free' don't understand how 'free' works. I hear just as many nightmare stories from my UK friends on their NHS. My New Zealand friend, who lives in Canada full time comes here for major medical to pay out of pocket vs. Canada. Nothing is perfect.
  • + 1
 @bman33: So if you are not broke, but not really wealthy at the same time, this kind of bill can get you in real trouble...
  • + 0
 @Archimonde: it can, but so can any bill. most places will work with you, again, been there done that with injuries. Noting is 'free'. Do other countries do it differently? Sure. Does our system need help? Of course. However, 'free' healthcare isn't the answer because it isn't free and we have a very pluraistic society with many competing perspectives. I isn't one-size-fits all here like in other places. I know most Euros don't understand this. Fine. We aren't Europe. Do a bit of research on the UK's NHS and their relationship with cheap Indian doctors since the 70's. Interesting read.
  • + 0
 @bman33: wow, sure is great you're poor enough to get "free" healthcare when you get injured. The rest of us have to pay absurdly high healthcare costs compared to the rest of the world just so we can have the pleasure of subsidizing the insurance companies and for-profit hospitals who get to set the prices with little oversight and no market competition.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: Point out where I said I received 'free' healthcare at any point. Hint: I didn't. When I was really broke and in a bad spot in life, it was 'written off'. It was on my credit for a while. However, I didn't get 'free' healthcare. Go back and reread for a better understanding.
  • + 1
 @bman33: sorry I confused your terminology, it was great that you had the luxury to declare bankruptcy or whatever you mean by "written off". For the rest of us, we'd rather not pay the highest healthcare costs in the world just to preserve a system where insurers and healthcare providers get to pretend they operate in a free market while facing virtually no competition and setting prices as high as they want with no recourse to patients.

Your "nightmare" scenario is the UK/NHS, which costs less than half per-capita what we spend on healthcare in the US, including less government spending? Sign me up for your nightmare please.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: kudos for the reread. Not sure if I would call bankruptcy a 'luxury' or not. I totally agree, our system is fully of corruption and def needs work. The ACA has only made it worse. Mine, and everyone I know, has had their rates go up substantially since. It's insane. I am good friends with several in the UK who tell me of unruly wait times for care/appointments and a crooked vetting and 'approval' process for procedures. the NHS also has a tough time recruiting native doctors because of very low pay comparatively. Indian doctors (nothing wrong with them) are imported extensively for the lower paying doctor positions. Their system is have severe issues.

Several doctors I know have been working with a direct care group to avoid the massive expenses, hassles and delays in payment they get working with insurance companies. That group uses monthly 'subscription fee' for members to join. No insurance is used. However, the care is 1/3 or even less than typically billed by a 'regular' setup.

Our system needs work no doubt. Corruption up and own the system. Most care providers (docs, nurses, etc.) just honestly want to care for their patients and they should get compensated accordingly. However, at 'DMV' approach is not what everyone is promised from those called for it. I don't have the answers. But I do know a 'one size fits all' approach will be an even larger mess due to our county's size and diverse culture/needs.
  • + 1

The NHS, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government sponsored health plans don't prevent you from using direct pay doctors or buying private insurance if that's what you prefer for whatever reason.

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