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"I have especially injured my neck and my nose. It was a nasty crash but it was my own fault. But all in all, I'm okay."

Photo: Thomas Nyhus / Rawshooter




29.12.2016 @ 17:57 Posted by Christian Berg

Mathieu van der Poel crashed heavily in the penultimate lap of Azencross Loenhout. The Dutchman was in the leading group but after a hill he fell heavily on his right shoulder, didn’t move for a long time and was taken to the hospital in Malle with a neck brace on a stretcher. After a scan, however, he quickly left the hospital and he has already claimed to be ‘okay’. He has a bruised neck, his Beobank-Corendon team says.


The Dutch champion wanted to close a gap to leader Toon Aerts after Tom Meeusen had let his teammate ride away. He went too fast up the climb and crashed hard on the descent,


Van der Poel was motionless, but he never lost consciousness. He could leave the hospital after a scan.


"I'm fine," the Dutchman told Het Nieuwsblad. "I hit the ground with my face and was groggy. I couldn’t feel my face anymore and it last for a while but I never lost consciousness. I have especially injured my neck and my nose. It was a nasty crash but it was my own fault. But all in all, I'm okay."


Manager Christoph Roodhooft was also at the hospital. "A scan of the neck revealed no fractures,” said the team manager. "That's positive. Mathieu could quickly leave the hospital, with a brace to support the injured neck."


The crash forces van der Poel to skip the race in Bredene on Friday. His participation on Sunday in Baal is currently still in doubt. "It's wait and see how the neck evolves in the coming days, but I hope at least to be bach at the Dutch Championships,” Van der Poel said.


"I want to immediately apologize to Mathieu. I hope he will not blame me," said Meeusen. "I left a gap for my teammate but when he passed me at a breakneck speed, I was shocked…”


The images show that Van der Poel took too many risks which Wout Van Aert.


"I think Mathieu just wanted to take too much risk to pass Tom (Meeusen, ed.)," said the winner. "He was a little too enthusiastic. When he crash, I saw immediately that it was painful. I sincerely hope that it is not too bad and that he will quickly be back. We should not make predictions, but a long absence would not be good for the sport.”



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