Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) has suffered a cracked right collarbone, as well as heavy bruising to his right hip and right shoulder, after colliding with a rival team car in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, his team have reported.
The Belgian was chasing back up to the main bunch when he collided with a Jumbo-Visma team car, forcing him to abandon the race. Belgian commentators were reported as saying Benoot left the race in tears; the 25-year-old began the race with odds of 22/1 to win the Monument.
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Benoot had a desperately unlucky race, suffering an initial crash and puncture, and it was as he was trying to rejoin the peloton that the collision with the car took place.
Towards the end of the race television pictures picked up a Jumbo-Visma team car with its rear window completely caved in, likely to be the car involved in the collision with Benoot.
His team, Lotto-Soudal, have said that further medical examinations will take place on their rider on Monday in order to make a definitive diagnosis about the extent of his injuries. Benoot will no longer take the start line in the Amstel Gold Race this coming Sunday.
Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was the eventual winner, adding Paris-Roubaix to his four other Monument wins, with only Milan-San Remo remaining of the five Monuments that the Belgian is yet to win.
Gilbert broke away with Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) in the final 15km, with Gilbert beating the German in a sprint finish inside the Roubaix velodrome.
Benoot has never finished inside the top-100 in Paris-Roubaix, finishing 100th in 2015, 114th in 2016 and not participating for the past two years.
He came into this year’s edition with good form, though, recording a top-10 finish in the Tour of Flanders and top-five finishes in both Strade Bianche and Dwars door Vlaanderen.
His biggest win to date was a victory in last year’s Strade Bianche, in what was a strong 2018 spring Classics campaign, with top-10 finishes in the Tour of Flanders, Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke.