Neurologists monitoring Sky coach Shane Sutton after his concussion and bleeding from the brain have now reported an additional disappearance from his memory.
Sutton, age 55, recalls none of the events surrounding Bradley Wiggins’s historic Tour de France victory.
“At first, we had identified the immediate loss, from 8:40 in the morning until 12.20 in the afternoon of his crash” said Dr. Jeremy Cromartie. “We’ve since noticed that all of his Tour memories from the prologue in Liege on Saturday June 30 to Wiggin’s crowning victory in Paris on Sunday, July 22nd are gone.”
The man who was Wiggin’s coach at Sky and British Cycling is devastated by the lost of those precious memories. “It tears you apart. A Tour win for Brad, the first Englishman, to be a big part of that, it’s a terrible thing. Everything is gone and I can’t for the life of me remember a thing about it.”
Doctors are guardedly optimistic that with time the memory of those events may return, if only partially. Sutton is still undergoing tests for brain function and mental processing.
“I would not rule out fragments of those memories coming back,” said Cromartie. “Memories of one or two of the road stages may return — he may get a whole week of the Tour or perhaps nothing. It’s not something we can predict.”
Sutton hopes that at least a few pieces of Wiggins’ amazing Tour victory will come back to him. “If I could have anything I’d take the first time trial to Besancon. That was a special day for me, Brad and Sky. I know the brain doesn’t work that way but I’d even settle for the stage from Paul to Bagnères-de-Luchon. Some of those boring transitional stages, I don’t need those back.”
While too early to tell, doctors are also considering regression therapy to help Sutton go back and retrieve these important memories. “It is possible that if we can take Shane back, say a week before the Tour began, that we can trigger the lost memories. It’s a reconstruction process,” said Cromartie.
Sutton is committed to doing everything to recapture those memories. I’ll do whatever the doctors tell me to. I want that Tour back,” said SUtton. “I don’t feel 100 per cent at the moment. It is going to take time. I’ve talked to Brad and he said he’ll tell me the whole story but it’s not the same, is it?”