Tiesj Benoot escaped any broken bones during a crash on stage four of the Tour de France, but his bike wasn’t so lucky, snapping in two after the Belgian crashed over a barrier on a descent.
The Sunweb rider was part of the day’s breakaway, and was trying to close a gap to the rider in front of him, saying he went too fast into the corner, which resulted in his fall.
“I have some cuts and I need to get an x-ray of my finger. But I was lucky,” Benoot said after the finish.
“It’s really stupid. I wanted to be in Nils Politt’s wheel in that descent and I closed a gap on him, but I went too fast into a corner that went further than I expected.”
The 2018 Strade Bianche winner has suffered abrasions across his body as well as a contusion to his hand, team doctor Camiel Alderschof said, and his condition will be monitored over the upcoming stages.
“I felt my wheel shift and then you have a panic reaction. You brake and then you lose control. I saw the crash barrier approaching and thought how to land as softly as possible,” Benoot explained.
“It’s a shame, because I feel better and better”, Benoot added, having recently abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné with back problems. “I’m not 100 percent yet, but I still had something left.”
As for his broken bike, he is yet to see the damage, but will not dwell on the crash, instead looking ahead to other days where he can fight for stage victories.
“A pity, but it could be much worse. I haven’t seen my bike yet, but it could be worse. My form is already improving. Let’s look ahead.”