Mathieu van der Poel will ride the cobbled Classics after a huge crash in the final of Nokere Koerse.
The cyclocross world champion was caught in a high-speed collision during the sprint finish of the Belgian one-day race on Wednesday (March 20).
Van der Poel is due to make his debut in the Classics, but the crash threatened his plans.
Fortunately, the 24-year-old didn’t suffer any serious injuries and will continue his road schedule.
His Corendon-Circus team said: “Nokere Koerse didn’t end as we expected.
“A nasty crash for Mathieu van der Poel in the final straight and he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
“Luckily, no fractures have been found, only abrasions and bruises.
“With these circumstances, he will be able to complete his road programme as planned.”
Van der Poel, 24, drove the pace for much of the 199.5km race around East Flanders, but was unable to cause any splits.
The race stayed together to set up a bunch sprint on the 300m cobbled, slightly uphill run to the line.
As the peloton hit the cobbled sector Sunweb sprinter Max Walscheid fell near the front of the bunch, with van der Poel unable to avoid the collision.
The race was won by Walcheid’s lead-out man Cees Bol, who opened his sprint late to beat Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann.
Dutchman Bol was perfectly positioned to lead out team-mate Walscheid.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann was first to open his sprint, but as he faded on the cobbled run to the line Bol was strong enough to pass him to take the win.
Bol’s victory is the first of 2019 for Sunweb.
Van der Poel was caught in the crash, rolling along the cobbles before being hit by a CCC Team rider.
He stayed on the floor and was then taken away by ambulance, as Walscheid walked to the line with his wrecked bike.
Van der Poel will ride Gent-Wevelgem later this month, followed by Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race.
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