Amaury Pierron fractured the C5 vertebrae in his neck and underwent surgery after a crash in Lenzerheide. He sustained the injury in practice, got checked out, and rode qualifying with the injury before pulling out of semi-finals to preserve himself for the rest of the season. That's when he got X-rays and the fracture was discovered.
After a great 2022 season taking the overall title, Pierron suffered a tough start to his off-season training. After breaking his collarbone and undergoing surgery for that, he worked hard to fully heal and train before getting between the tape for the first World Cup. This isn't his first serious injury either. In 2021, the Commencal racer was airlifted
from the French Cup downhill race, where he sustained injuries to his kidney, liver, and lung.
Team Manager Thibault Ruffin gave FullAttack more details in an interview above. He describes the fracture as "quite complicated" but says surgery went well and that the operation was done by one of Austria's leading surgeons. He also agrees that organizers should be obligated to have MRI or X-rays more readily available on site, like in MotoGP.
Amaury Pierron, Henry Kerr
, and Ben Cathro all sustained spinal injuries at Lenzerheide in a sobering reminder that this is an incredibly dangerous sport. Stay safe out there!
We're gutted for Amaury, and wish him the best on the road to recovery.