...and a health alert:
Barloworld's Cox dies following surgery
Filed: August 1, 2007
South African Ryan Cox died Tuesday weeks after doctors performed surgery to repair a constriction in his iliac artery, a problem common in cyclists.
Cox's win at Genting in 2005 sealed his overall victory at Langkawi that year.
photo: Casey B. Gibson
The 28-year-old Cox, who had reported numbness, weakness and other problems with his left leg earlier in the year, had been diagnosed with a problem similar to that experienced by CSC's Stuart O'Grady in 2002.
Cox, with financial assistance from Barloworld teammate Robbie Hunter, underwent surgery in early July.
Cox's coach Clint Curtis told Bicycling South Africa that the rider showed classic symptoms of an arterial constriction.
"He sometimes lost the feeling in the leg after cycling and had little power in the leg towards the end of some races," Curtis said. "Ryan then went to see one of the leading doctors in France. It was found that the artery had, as a consequence of all the cycling, become knotted as sometimes happens to a garden hose. It often happens to cyclists because they spend so many hours on the bicycles, with their legs bent while pedaling."
While Hunter provided money for the surgery in early July, friends suspect that financial concerns prompted the cyclist to leave the French hospital earlier than recommended. He flew home to South Africa to recover.
Doctors recommend near complete immobility for several weeks following surgery, with a gradual resumption of physical activity over an eight-week period.
Cox was rushed to a South African hospital late Monday, where doctors unsuccessfully worked to repair an apparent rupture in the artery.
Cox was a talented rider, with an impressive race resume, including the overall title at the 2005 Tour de Langkawi, a victory he secured by beating Venezuelan climbing ace Jose Rujano in a sprint to the line atop that race's most feared climbing stage at Genting Highlands.