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Vantornout questionable for Hoogerheide World Cup

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Klaas Vantornout, the new Belgian champion, was injured in a crash in Zonnebeke

Klaas Vantornout, the new Belgian champion, was injured in a crash in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) on the attack

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) on the attack (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) leads Vantornout in Zonnebeke

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) leads Vantornout in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Taramarcaz realizes his mistake

Taramarcaz realizes his mistake (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen comes on late to get Taramarcaz at the line

Tom Meeusen comes on late to get Taramarcaz at the line (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Julien Taramarcaz raises his arms prematurely in Zonnebeke

Julien Taramarcaz raises his arms prematurely in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen slips past Taramarcaz to win in Zonnebeke

Tom Meeusen slips past Taramarcaz to win in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen rides through the icy slush in Zonnebeke

Tom Meeusen rides through the icy slush in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Julien Taramarcaz in the lead

Julien Taramarcaz in the lead (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout, the new Belgian champion

Klaas Vantornout, the new Belgian champion (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The podium in Zonnebeke: Julien Taramarcaz, Tom Meeusen and Sven Vanthourenhout

The podium in Zonnebeke: Julien Taramarcaz, Tom Meeusen and Sven Vanthourenhout (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout could barely pedal after his crash

Klaas Vantornout could barely pedal after his crash (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Julien Taramarcaz (BMC) in the ice and snow

Julien Taramarcaz (BMC) in the ice and snow (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen rode his heart out in Zonnebeke

Tom Meeusen rode his heart out in Zonnebeke (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Crelan)

Sven Nys (Crelan) (Image credit: Photopress.be)

The new Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout may not be on the start line in the final World Cup in Hoogerheide. The Sunweb-Napoleon Games rider crashed on the hard, frozen ruts in Saturday's UCI C2 race in Zonnebeke and says "the pain is enormous".

"As I feel now, I cannot start Sunday in Hoogerheide," Vantornout said, according to Sporza.

The race followed a winter storm that left much of Belgium covered in several inches of snow. The Kasteelcross course was rutted and icy as Vantornout chased his way to the front of the race, led by Tom Meeusen, Mariusz Gil, Swiss champion Julien Taramarcaz and Sven and Dieter Vanthourenhout.

Mid-way through the race, Vantornout overcame a slow start and joined the front group when he crashed on the icy ground, and limped away with severe pain in his left glute.

"There is a deep bruise, and I need to visit the emergency room to see if I broke anything."

In enormous pain and having difficulty even walking, Vantornout doubted a night's rest would be enough to recover sufficiently for the World Cup final.

Meeusen wins, but still not happy

After being left off Belgium's World Cup and World Championship team due to his involvement in a doping inquiry into his doctor, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) exacted his revenge in Zonnebeke. Taramarcaz thought he had the race won and raised his arms in victory, only to have the cagey Meeusen push past at the line to steal the win.

However, the victory was not vindication for Meeusen, who is still in the dark regarding the investigation.

"Initially I was not motivated to ride, so I wallowed in the back of the leading group," Meeusen said of the race.

"In the final round I scraped together all my motivation to participate in the sprint, but I'm not really happy with this win," he said, adding that it shows he should have been in the Belgian selection for Worlds. "It gives more pain than pleasure."

"I am still down after all that this hoopla has robbed me of. I still have not heard anything from the investigation. No explanation, no nothing."