Kiwi road cyclist Keagan Girdlestone has defied medical experts after a horrific accident in Italy last year, making his return to Christchurch eyeing up the 100km Le Race event this Saturday.
Nine months ago while Girdlestone was fighting for his life in an Italian hospital after receiving brutal neck wounds in an accident with his team's car.
"I went through the back window of the car and the glass pretty much went straight through and sliced my jugular vein and carotid vein and completely severed it," said Girdlestone.
"My understanding was I lost every single ounce of blood in my body."
Girdlestone, 19, went two and a half hours without blood to the brain and 30 per cent of the side of his brain is now dead.
His recovery taking him full circle, this weekend he'll return to the race he became the youngest winner of in 2014.
"I believe I can do a sub three hours which is quite a solid pace."