Blais Suffers Broken Back

Jean Turner | August 6, 2007

KTM’s Dakar Rally star Chris Blais suffered a bad crash while pre-running the upcoming Nevada 1000. Coming into Tonopah, Blais reportedly hit a square-edged bump in a silt bed which sent him on his front wheel. He rode it out for nearly 50 feet before going over the bars, and cart-wheeled another good distance.

Blais suffered a broken collarbone and crushed his T-7 vertebra. Johnny Campbell was the first on the scene with Blais, and waited with him until a helicopter transported him to a hospital in Reno. He underwent surgery on Sunday night where doctors fused his vertebra and inserted two rods in his back.

From the waist up, Blais has feeling and mobility. But he has no feeling in his legs“ yet. The extent of the injury to his spinal cord won’t be known until the pressure and swelling go down but hopes are high, and Chris and his wife Patty are holding up well.

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.