Six-times world champion Joel Robert has suffered a stroke while on holiday in France and is said to be starting to make a recovery. The 72-year-old Belgian, third in the all-time list of world championship winners behind Stefan Everts and Tony Cairoli, started to lose some feeling in his left leg and arm and was taken to hospital for tests.

His partner Josiane said: "Tell your readers that Joel goes well, but I confess that I had been very afraid for him. Last Thursday Joel noticed his left leg would not support him very well. Then I saw that he had less of mobility of the left arm. We went to the emergency hospital as the problem was probably much more serious than we had believed.

"Joel went to Motauban hospital and had undergone a magnetic resonance test and the doctors have diagnosed a stroke. They also noticed the remnants of two similar incidences that go back to several years. But it is going well. The stroke does not show in his face and he has begun physio sessions to recover the normal use of his leg and his left arm."

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Joel isn't the only former champion to be facing difficulties. Former British champ Greg Hanson suffered head injuries in a racing crash last week and was airlifted got hospital. He's since been released to recover at home but it seems the 50-year-old will now officially retire from racing.