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Cycling: Belgian star Wout Van Aert victim of “horrible fall”

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Cycling: Belgian star Wout Van Aert victim of “horrible fall”

Updated27. March 2024, 9:52 p.m.

Cycling: Belgian star Wout Van Aert victim of “horrible fall”

With the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix looming, Wout Van Aert fell heavily on Wednesday. He suffered several fractures to his collarbone and ribs.

Four days before the Tour of Flanders, Wout Van Aert suffered a terrible fall on Wednesday, leaving the Across Flanders race won by his teammate Matteo Jorgenson in tears.

67 km from the finish, the Belgian violently went to the ground, after touching the wheel of his teammate Teisj Benoot at very high speed in the supposedly dangerous descent before the Kanarieberg, dragging down several other favorites with his fall.

The leader of the Visma-Lease a bike team stood up with difficulty, screaming in pain and disappointment, his jersey torn and his back completely torn, before being evacuated by ambulance to a hospital.

Involved in the same fall, his compatriot Jasper Stuyven and the Eritrean Biniam Girmay were also taken to hospital. No fracture was detected in Girmay, his Intermarché team indicated after the race.

The Dane Mads Pedersen, winner of Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday, also fell on this descent which no longer appears on the Tour of Flanders program because it is so dangerous, but was able to restart.

“Wout touched my rear wheel and he fell, I hope he is well, I have no news,” explained his teammate Tiesj Benoot at the finish.

Several fractures

This incident buries Van Aert’s participation on Sunday in the Tour of Flanders and on April 7 in Paris-Roubaix, two cobbled Monuments that he dreams of finally hanging on his prize list. The athlete suffers from several fractures to his collarbone and ribs, his team communicated on X.

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“It was a horrible fall. When I saw what happened, I knew Wout wasn’t going back. We were going so fast. I think of him and the others who fell,” reported Matteo Jorgenson after his solo victory in Waregem.

Stefan Küng 3e

The 24-year-old Californian, after taking advantage of a lot of work from Benoot, extricated himself from a group of six runners seven kilometers from the goal to win with 29 seconds ahead of the Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen and the Swiss Stefan Kung.

This success brings a little balm to the heart of the Dutch team, undermined by falls and viruses in recent days and deprived on Wednesday of Christophe Laporte (also out on Sunday), Dylan van Baarle and Jan Tratnik.

Van Aert had focused his entire start to the year around the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, skipping several races including Milan-Sanremo to prepare at altitude in Tenerife for three weeks.

Last Friday, he had already fallen, but less heavily, during the E3 Grand Prix won by his great rival Mathieu van der Poel.

The Dutchman did not participate in Across Flanders on Wednesday, saving himself for the “Ronde” on Sunday in which he becomes more than ever the overwhelming favorite.

(AFP)

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