On Thursday, Mathieu van der Poel crashed heavily in Loenhout. The Dutch champion was removed on a stretcher, but he suffered no serious injuries. On Friday, Sporza asked Van der Poel for an update. "I won’t ride in Baal, but I want to defend my jersey at the Dutch Champsionships."
Van der Poel crashed on the descent of a small climb in the penultimate lap. What happened exactly?
"We hit a technical section. Meeusen wanted to open a gap to his teammate Aerts.
"I tried to stop it and I passed Meeusen on the outside. I was halfway ahead of him but then had to accelerate again. Thus, I had too much speed. Then the light went out.
"I thought that I had not been unconscious, but the medical assistants told me that I was. I don’t remember the moment of the crash well. I only know that I could momentarily not feel my face and had some pain in my neck. That was nasty.
"I hoped right away that it was not too bad, because the major races this season are still tp come. I was groggy, but it looked worse than it actually was. I need to rest for 48 hours and see how I feel afterwards. I am certainly not riding in Baal [on January 1]."
Are the Dutch championships a week later feasible? "I hope to be at the start there at least. I want to defend my Dutch jersey in Sint-Michielsgestel.”
Where does it hurt one day after the crash? "I mainly have some trouble with my neck and nose. I slept pretty well, but I was stiff when I woke up. I have a small cold and could not blow out the pain. But I assume that it will be much better in the next few days.”
Is he going to be more careful in the next racce? "No, certainly not. I will get over this. It's over and I can do nothing more to change it. These are simply things that happen in the heat of a battle. I've often crash and that belongs to my style.”
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