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Mathieu van der Poel injured in crash at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne

Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) in the front group
Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) in the front group (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After experiencing the highest of highs in road cycling, winning the Tour of Flanders, Mathieu Van der Poel's fortunes came crashing down in a storm-blown Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne when the Dutch champion crashed into a drainage ditch.

Van der Poel was in a leading group with 16km to go after the race was shattered in heavy winds and, trying to move up on the edge of the road on the left side of the group, he was caught by a gust of wind and tumbled head first into a deep culvert.

Alpecin-Fenix confirmed that Van der Poel had sustained a mild concussion. Team manager Christoph Roodhooft told Sporza that the rider complained of "a sore neck, headache and feels very nauseous."

Team doctors evaluated Van der Poel and confirmed a concussion but said he did not have to go to the hospital and will be monitored over the coming days. 

Roodhooft said the crash happened as the Deceuninck-QuickStep team of eventual winner Yves Lampaert tried to gutter the group. 

"On the last bit with crosswinds, Mathieu was run off the road. Not by someone's rear wheel. The men from Deceuninck-Quick Step tried to put everything to one side and he was pushed off road. Very unfortunate for him.

"Next to the side was a very deep ditch, which he ended up in. He said he has a very sore neck, a headache and he feels very nauseous. He probably really fell on his head."