Cristina Gutiérrez battled through the pain barrier to collect her second win of the season in the World cup for cross country rallies this past weekend. During the event, the Spaniard suffered a heavy impact 30 kilometres in. Despite the ensuing pain Guttierez decided to continue with the race, traversing the remaining 230 kilometres of the Kazakhstan desert.
Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Tanishka Vashee
After the race Guttierez was immediately sent to the hospital where a CT scan revealed two ruptured vertebrae. In a statement posted on her Instagram story on Sunday the Spaniard said:
“Thank you very much for all your messages, I have no words to describe the love I have received. I send energy to Sam who also had a big fall in the same area. We do not understand how the organisation did not warn of this danger after Sam’s accident. I am still in hospital in Kazakhstan, I am feeling a little bit better. Now the big problem is getting out of here, the country is closed and there are no flights… I am still waiting to get a medicalized plane so I can return.”
In her statement she referenced Sam Sunderland, a rally motorcycle rider who also suffered a hefty crash in the same spot as Gutiérrez that resulted in pelvic fracture. In his statement Sunderland explained that a square edge of rock on the inside of a corner resulted in his crash and most likely was the cause in Gutiérrez’s impact as well.
It is yet to be known how the injury will affect the rest of Guttierez’s season. Earlier this year she became the second woman to win a stage at the Dakar Rally. She currently competes in Extreme E under the Team X44 banner. She and Sebastian Loeb are currently second place in the standings. Apart from that she is also in the lead of the FIA world cup for rallying in the T3 category after picking up 2 wins in the first 2 rounds at Andalucia in Spain and Kazakhstan.