Oliver Naesen‘s participation in the Tour of Flanders is in doubt after he injured his left knee in a crash during a rain-soaked edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. The Belgian champion was a faller after 75 kilometres and abandoned the race shortly afterwards.
Naesen was taken to hospital in Ghent to undergo X-rays on his knee immediately after the race finished in Waregem. AG2R La Mondiale directeur sportif Julien Jurdie was pessimistic about his prospects of recovering in time to line out at De Ronde on Sunday.
“Oli is gone with the doctor to get X-rays at the hospital. He’s complaining a lot about his knee so obviously there’s a big question mark over his participation in the Tour of Flanders on Sunday,” Jurdie said.
“Honestly, and I really hope I’m wrong, but I’m quite pessimistic for Sunday. The doctor is pessimistic too. We’ll just have to wait for the result of the X-ray. I really hope I’m wrong.”
Naesen spoke briefly before leaving for the hospital, and explained that he was unable to take evasive action when a rider crashed just in front of him. “There was a crash in front of me, and I couldn’t avoid it. I fell on my knee,” he said.
The X-ray showed no fractures, but in a statement on Wednesday evening, the AG2R La Mondiale team said that a decision on his presence at the Ronde will only be taken closer to the weekend. “He is suffering with cuts and bruises,” read the statement. “His participation in the Tour of Flanders will be confirmed in the next 48 hours depending on how his injury evolves.”
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