Eddie Dunbar on the months of trauma caused by his concussion

Posted on: December 3rd, 2017

cyclist Eddie Dunbar concussion

Straight talker Eddie Dunbar has set out in great detail the physical and mental trauma over a five-month period from concussion after a bad crash in June in the Baby Giro. In recent weeks he seems to be back to his old self and training again.


Cyclist Eddie Dunbar on his months of concussion trauma


Top young Irish pro rider Eddie Dunbar has spoken about the traumatic period he endured his year due to concussion.

Recently signed for Aqua Blue Sport, Dunbar revealed that after riding the TT at the European Championships he forgot where he was.

He said he suffered an experience akin to a panic attack. Dunbar also said his eyes were rolling in his head; two months after sustaining his concussion.

It was at that point he withdraw from the road race at the Europeans and decided he needed to resolve his concussion.

He had been having problems at that point for three months; since a June 9th crash in the Baby Giro.

And thought he resolved at the Euros in August to get well, several months would pass before that happened.

He said he crashed coming towards the end of the opening stage in Italy as other riders came down in front of him.

His head took the impact and for a period of around 1½ hours he has no real memory.

“I remember vaguely walking around aimlessly and getting into the ambulance,” he told RTE Sport.

“I thought I walked into the ambulance, but I’ve been told I went into it in a stretcher and a neck-brace.

“They took me to hospital. I managed to remember my mother’s phone number straight away, don’t ask me how, and I rang her.

“It was all a bit of a blur and my head was killing me.”

He had no broken bones and would normally always want to race irrespective of injuries. But he declined to start stage 2, saying he knew something was wrong.

“I didn’t want to go into a race after hitting my head at 60km an hour and then put other lads’ lives at risk if I blacked-out on a descent,” he said.

“I put my foot down and said I genuinely can’t race, which was quite tough.”

The concussion was not diagnosed in Italy but it was soon spotted by Dunbar’s own doctor.

He tried to train after having some resent but he suffered persistent headache.

“When I was in a bad mood, which was happening quite often, I felt like I’d changed as a person,” he said.

“People are saying to me now that I wasn’t myself at all. But they didn’t tell me at the time because they didn’t want to worry me.”

His efforts to train were undermined by his inability to sleep for more than few hours.

Without the structure of his usual cycling training and racing he said he was in a dark place and even prone to crying for no good reason.

He would ride the Velothon in Wales and then the Irish championships in June; abandoning the road race in the latter.

And having decided to go to the Europeans in August, things came to a head after he rode the TT.

“I went into the van and I was just staring out the window and I completely forgot where I was for almost a minute.

“And then I had this rush, almost like a panic attack, and I realised then that there was something wrong and that I had to do something about it.

“(I) was out of it, Dee Quinn from Cycling Ireland was staring at me. She asked me was alright and I just said ‘no, I’m not’.

“She told me that my eyes had been rolling into the back of my head. That was it then and I made a decision that day that I needed to call it a day for a few months.”

His racing season was formally ended as he tried to recover.

And though he was about to return to training in October, his mentor Dan Curtin spotted him out training and insisted he stop.

However, since the middle of last month he has been training well and is looking forward to next year.