Roelants has been struggling with left knee problems in recent days. After the ride on Tuesday evening, he announced that he was doing better and that he was looking forward to Wednesday’s ride. Roelants performed strongly in the 465 km stage. It started as the 81st engine and advanced step by step. After 198 km he passed in 62nd. Then something must have gone wrong somewhere. The race direction informed his son Axel, who accompanies his father in the Dakar.
“I just learned that my daddy crashed,” Axel Roelants told The newspapaer. “He stayed down and would have something wrong with his back. He does have feeling in his legs. In the meantime, he has been evacuated by helicopter and is then flown by plane to a military hospital, where the necessary examinations and scans will be carried out. Only then can I say more. His condition is stable. He just sent me a message that his motorcycle heart hurts more than his back.”
In 2014, his other son Joel Roelants fell during the Italian GP and became paralyzed. That fall inspired Walter Roelants last year to participate and raise money for To Walk Again. His goal was to finish and Roelants succeeded. At 60 years and 285 days, he became the oldest Belgian motorcyclist to finish the Dakar. With his participation, he collected 50,000 euros last year for To Walk Again.
Source: The newspapaer