Cycling News

Van Aert, Stuyven Suffer Fractures, Ruled Out of Ronde van Vlaanderen

Van Aert, Stuyven Suffer Fractures, Ruled Out of Ronde van Vlaanderen

Visma Lease-a-Bike star Wout Van Aert suffered multiple rib and collarbone fractures in a crash today at Dwars door Vlaanderen and will not ride the remaining spring classics, according to media reports from Belgium today.

This has now been confirmed by his team:

Lidl-Trek’s Jasper Stuyven, a key lieutenant and dark horse contender in both Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, is also expected to miss the cobbled classics from this point on with a broken collarbone from the same crash. His team has not confirmed this yet.

For Lidl-Trek’s leader Mads Pedersen, the news is more cautiously optimistic.

Finally, Intermarche star Biniam Girmay is also expected to soldier on after going down in the same crash.

Further details to come.

For Van Aert and his Belgian home fans, it’s a third consecutive disappointment on home soil, as he was held out of the 2022 Ronde with Covid, and seemed to peak too early last year after winning the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and sharing the victory at Gent-Wevelgem with teammate Christophe LaPorte, reducing his fitness just enough to see him miss the winning move at Flanders. Laporte is also out for Flanders, leaving the team short its two top options, though Matteo Jorgenson took the honors at Dwars today with Tiesj Benoot helping, and former Paris-Roubaix winner Dylan van Baarle waiting in the wings, so they are far from hopeless.

Lidl-Trek have to hope Pedersen is 100% or close to it Sunday, though. No Stuyven means the former World Champ is their only rider capable of a win, in all likelihood, though if he can go he will have excellent support from Jonathan Milan and Tom De Clerq.

Mathieu van der Poel will be a heavy favorite for a third win, though he will see an increased burden as a result of the crashes and the removal of other potential winners.

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