Vantornout cleared to compete in cyclo-cross Worlds

Belgian champion making quick recovery from injury

Klaas Vantornout received good news from his team doctor on Tuesday as the injuries the Sunweb-Napoleon Games rider sustained during a crash in last Saturday's Kasteelcross Zonnebeke race will not prevent him from taking his place on Belgium's team for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

Vantornout, the newly crowned Belgian 'cross champions, injured his left buttock in Zonnebeke and was unable to finish the race. His injuries also prevented him from contesting the final round of the World Cup the following day in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, Vantornout was pleased to get the green light to make the trip to the United States where the elite men's world championship will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on February 3. What was thought to be a single, major tear was found to be multiple, smaller tears which should heal quickly.

"They had thought there was a tear of four centimetres, but the image was distorted by the bleeding around the wound," said Vantornout. "Now it's clear there is a series of small tears. The doctors confirmed that I can quicky recover.

"The pain does not go away with this diagnosis, but now I know that sport is not harmful. [Wednesday] I will try to ride the rollers for the first time then I want to increase the intensity day by day. Not much has happened to my condition, I think. My super form has not gone after three days without cycling."

Vantornout was part of last year's Belgian domination at the world championships where the seven-man squad swept the first seven places in the elite men's event. Vantornout placed sixth last year and will join his compatriots Niels Albert, Bart Aernouts Sven Nys, Kevin Pauwels, Rob Peeters and Bart Wellens in this year's Belgian contingent.

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