On Friday morning, May 23rd, Jeff Noffsinger a cat 3 with the Audi Cycling Team was involved in a high speed crash on the back side of Rist-Ford Hill. Jeff is currently recovering from serious injuries at MCR.  He will be the first recipient of YGR’s Wounded Rider Program. Stuart Thomas, Jeff’s teammate, was just behind him at the time of the accident.  The following is Stuart’s account of what happened. We hope to have more information on Jeff’s condition sometime today. 

On Friday morning Jeff Noffsinger and I pushed off from my house around 10:00 and headed up Rist Canyon.  Jeff and I summited around 11:30 and planned to head down into Stove Prairie and then take the Poudre back down to Fort Collins.  We started the descend into Stove Prairie and about a quarter mile down Jeff’s bike started to fish tail out of control.  Jeff was about 50 yards in front of me and I saw the fishtail become uncontrollable at a high speed and Jeff went down hard into the ditch on the right hand side of the road.  By the time I got to him he was hurt pretty bad and disoriented a bit.  Jeff’s helmet was crushed in and his head bleeding from what I think was impact with a rock.  Additional injuries included road rash and his back was hurt extremely bad.  I was in disbelief at Jeff’s condition, his mangled bike, and the distance he flew from point of visible impact.

I flagged down a couple of cars because we didn’t have cell service.  One car continued down into Stove Prairie to get service.  Two other cars stopped and one gentlemen happened to be a medic in the army and another a retired paramedic so they fortunately took over.  They made the decision to put Jeff in the medic’s car and head to PVH not knowing if the first car was able to make contact with emergency crews.  They made it to the fire station and emergency crews from PVH, local paramedics, and MCR air support were either there or on their way.  The helicopter crew made the call it was best to fly to MCR due to a 7 minute transport time vs. 45 min by ambulance to PVH.  By this time Jeff was in extreme pain from his lower back and we were all not sure how bad his injuries were.  
When Jeff arrived at MCR he went in for MRI and Cat Scans.  Fortunately there were no internal, head, neck, or broken limb issues.  The cut on his head needed staples but was under control.  The major issue was substantial compression fractures in his spine and some of the lower vertebrae fractured into pieces.  Jeff went into surgery Saturday morning and the surgery was deemed a success.  Sounds like Jeff will be required to wear a back brace for a few months and probably off the bike for a while.  
As I understand it, the first words after Jeff came to post surgery was “when can I ride a bike” so hopefully spirits are good.  I am just glad the helmet did its job, from looking at it, I’ve never seen anything so scary.