Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) had to be nursed across the finish line by the race doctor in Saturday’s penultimate stage of the BinckBank Tour. However, with the race on his favoured terrain, the Belgian champion remains hopeful that he can get into the mix on the final day of action.
Starting the day just 43 seconds down on the overall leader Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Lampaert rode aggressively and was one of the main protagonists. He had been in the move that formed the race-winning attack, though he and others had been unable to break Mohoric’s grasp on the race lead.
Unseen by cameras, as Lampaert made his way through the final kilometre he was thrown over his handlebars and off his bike. The incident happened in front of Mohoric, but the Bahrain-Merida rider was able to negotiate the stricken Lampaert. Perhaps using his judo skills, Lampaert managed to roll through the fall but he was unable to eliminate the impact altogether. Helped by the medical car, Lampaert slowly made his way to the finish line and he remained hopeful that he could ride through the injuries on the final day of racing.
"I fell flat on my back. I had no breath right after the fall. It was a pretty hard impact. I did not see how the crash was caused. I thought my chain skipped or my derailleur took a knock. The only thing I remember is that I went head-first, and luckily, I was able to make a good rolling movement,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
"I hope to be able to start in the final stage. I have some minor abrasions on my arms and legs, but my back and chest have big bruises and are a bit sore. It is going to be a painful night. There are nicer things in life. It is a bit of a shame because I felt very good today and I really wanted to make something out of it in the final stage. I hope that the damage evolves favourably and I can still do my thing in the final stage.”
Though he passed the finish line quite some time after the rest of the contenders, Lampaert did not lose any time due to the three-kilometre rule and goes into the last day with a 43-second deficit to Mohoric. The final stage of the BinckBank Tour is a tough 225.6km Tour of Flanders-esque stage from Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure to Geraardsbergen.
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