Van Petegem's hell

The biggest favourite to crash out of today's Paris-Roubaix was Davitamon-Lotto's Peter van Petegem,...

The biggest favourite to crash out of today's Paris-Roubaix was Davitamon-Lotto's Peter van Petegem, who came down in a big crash at the halfway mark. The 2003 winner firstly had to wait a long time to get a spare bike, then had a 15 km chase ahead to regain the peloton. But as soon as he did, he was dropped again because of his injuries, and had to abandon. He was taken to the ASZ hospital in Aalst, Belgium, where doctors diagnosed him with a badly bruised pelvis, but no broken bones.

"It's disappointing, but you come up against bad luck days like this during your career," Van Petegem told VRT afterwards. "At one stage there were some puddles of water and suddenly [other riders] slid out in front of me. I was in 25th position and couldn't avoid it any more. My wheels, shoes and derailleur were broken. But more seriously, I immediately knew that my injuries were bad.

"Through character and with the help of De Vocht, Steels and Roesems I could come back. But the pain remained and I couldn't put any power in my right leg," concluded the disappointed Van Petegem, who will take two days off before deciding on whether he will start in the Amstel Gold Race next Sunday.

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