Tiesj Benoot out of Tirreno-Adriatico after Strade Bianche crash

SIENA ITALY MARCH 05 Tiesj Benoot of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma requests help injured after being involved in a crash during the Eroica 16th Strade Bianche 2022 Mens Elite a 184km one day race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo 321m StradeBianche WorldTour on March 05 2022 in Siena Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) on the side of the road after crashing at Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) entered Strade Bianche as one of the favourites, with hopes that his race would end with a wave from the podium, but instead it finished on the side of the road with a hand raised to flag down a race vehicle. 

A victim of the mass-crash that occurred after the wind blew the peloton into disarray, the injured 2018 winner with blood dripping from a large wound on his knee abandoned the race. His injuries, too, will keep the in-form Jumbo-Visma rider from lining up for the seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday.

"I felt like I was riding well. I managed to stay in front on the gravel sections," said Benoot in a team statement. "At the moment of the crash I was with the front of the bunch. I don’t think you can be much safer than that."

Sitting in the second line didn’t help when Benoot, who moved to Jumbo-Visma this season from Team DSM, had his wheels knocked out from underneath him by falling riders. 

“Unfortunately, I could not avoid the two riders who crashed,” said Benoot. “A gust of wind made us all smash into the tarmac.”

It was an ill-timed crash and injury for Benoot, who only just started his 2022 season on Opening Weekend, delivering a strong showing both days even though it wasn’t evident in his personal results. 

At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad he delivered a brutal acceleration on the Berendries and then put his teammate and eventual winner, Wout van Aert, in prime position by going solo from the select group ahead of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. Then on Sunday at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne his attack on the Côte du Trieu blew the race to pieces.

“My condition was good, and I would have liked to take advantage of that today,” said Benoot after Strade Bianche. “For now, the important thing is recovering quickly. My back is hurting me at the moment, so it won’t be easy to sleep tonight. My left knee has an open wound and cannot be stitched up.”

“I need to take it from day to day, see how I will recover, so hopefully I can set new goals for this spring as soon as possible.”

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