Biker on the mend

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Queenstown mountain biking star Alanna Columb is on a slow recovery trail after knocking herself out last Wednesday night.

After crashing during a training ride at Queenstown’s Gorge Road Jump Park, the 29-year-old was ambulanced to Lakes District Hospital, placed in an induced coma, then helicoptered to Dunedin Hospital.

She came out of the coma two days later and was transferred from the intensive care unit to another ward early this week.

“She’s improved a lot,” her brother Scott Columb says.

“There’s lots of positives – she will recover and that’s all sweet. It could be days, it could be weeks, it could be months before we see improvement – it’s just a time thing to see if she will get back to normal or if she’s forgot a few things.”

Scott says she’s sleeping a lot, but also talking.

“Obviously she’s still very confused. My mother says she’s talking slowly and she likes the word ‘totally’.”

A three-time New Zealand women’s downhill champion, with a best World Cup placing of 10th, Alanna was formerly a successful motocross rider.

She’d only recently got back on her bike, after breaking her wrist last year, when she “overjumped the jump” last week.

The crash also caused swelling behind her right eye.

“She still can’t see out of that, it’s blurry,” Scott adds.