Van Aert to miss remaining spring classics after breaking collarbone and ribs in fall

Several cyclists were involved in a massive crash during the 78th Dwaars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, including favourite Wout Van Aert, who suffered a broken collarbone and ribs.

Van Aert crashed on a descent 68km from the finish line. The Belgian had to be put on a stretcher and carried into an ambulance, leaving the race in tears. "A broken collarbone and several broken ribs were diagnosed in hospital," his team, Visma-Lease a Bike, later announced.

Visma-Lease a Bike also said that Van Aert would definitely miss the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race, some of the most important races of the season. How long his recovery will take is not yet known.

Lidl-Trek rider Jasper Stuyven also fractured his collarbone. Multiple riders, including Gianni Vermeersch, Alex Kirsch and Biniam Girmay, were forced to abandon the race after the crash. Gent-Wevelgem winner Mads Pedersen was also involved, but was able to continue the race. The race was eventually won by American Matteo Jorgenson.

Dangerous descent

The fall occurred during a descent that was scrapped for the Tour of Flanders because it was deemed too dangerous. Both races are organised by the same company, Flanders Classics.

According to CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel, it was not scrapped for Dwars Door Vlaanderen because that race is not as "nervous" as the Tour of Flanders. "This shows that we can never be careful enough and that we had a point in removing that passage from the Tour's route," he told VTM.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS

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