Mathieu van der Poel says ‘it’s a small miracle he’s back on the bike again’ after his high-speed crash earlier this week.
Van der Poel was caught in a spill during the sprint finish at Belgian one-day race Nokere Koerse, being taken away by ambulance.
But fortunately the cyclocross world champion suffered no serious injuries, escaping with abrasions and bruises.
He was back on the bike the following day to recce the Tour of Flanders route, ahead of his cobbled Classics debut.
The 24-year-old told cycling news site Wielerflits: “It’s a small miracle I’m back on the bike again. It could have been a lot worse.
“I was in a lot of pain, but in the ambulance I already felt that it wasn’t so bad.
“But still, falling on the cobblestones definitely hurts.”
Van der Poel, the Dutch national road champion, crashed in the wind up for the sprint finish in East Flanders.
As the peloton hit the cobbled sector leading to the finish, Sunweb sprinter Max Walscheid came down near the front of the bunch.
Van der Poel was unable to avoid the collision, rolling along the stones before being hit by another rider.
He stayed down after the crash and was taken off the course by ambulance.
His Corendon-Circus team later confirmed he had suffered no fractures and will be able to complete his road programme as planned.
The crash brought van der Poel’s schedule into question as he makes his debut in the cobbled Classics, starting with Gent-Wevelgem later this month, followed by Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race.
He added: “I’m still fairly stiff. That will take a few days. But during the recce I upped the pace more.
“My hip was hit the hardest, but that will be fine too.”