'I've seen a lot of tough guys, but this guy is exceptional'

Lotto-Soudal's Tiesj Benoot will ride Paris-Roubaix despite having to abandon Tour of Flanders after a nasty crash

Tiesj Benoot lays prone on the tarmac after a crash in the 2016 Tour of Flanders. The young Belgian was forced to abandon with his injuries.

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Tiesj Benoot is cut and bruised from tumbling in the Tour of Flanders, but "will do anything" to start Paris-Roubaix this coming Sunday in France.

The Belgian of team Lotto-Soudal, who placed fifth in Flanders last year at 21-years-old, fell only 120km into the race when he hit a water bottle. He cut his left elbow, bruised his left shoulder and counts many other scrapes and bruises his face, hands, arms and legs.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.