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Wout van Aert has undergone surgery after his bad fall in the Tour de France time trial.
The Belgian cyclocross superstar was fighting for the provisional race lead on the road with his compatriot Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), but clipped a barrier in the final two kilometres.
After catching his bar on a banner, Van Aert went down awkwardly, legs splayed, and stayed prone at the side of the road.
He was forced to abandon the stage and was taken to hospital, his Jumbo-Visma team later confirming the 24-year-old suffered a deep cut to his right leg.
Head of performance at the Dutch squad, Mathieu Heijboer, said on Friday evening (July 19): “He was operated on by the surgeon. He stitched the capsule and skin and cleaned everything well. He has to stay in hospital for a few days.”
Belgian national time trial champion Van Aert collided with a barrier as he took a right-hand bend in the final two kilometres of the 27km time trial, travelling at 47.7km/h.
His team-mate and Jumbo-Visma general classification leader Steven Kruijswijk said: “After Wout’s crash I had to quickly change my focus. It is unfortunate that it happened. You don’t want it to happen to anyone.”
A number of riders crashed on the tricky course in Pau on stage 13. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) was able to finish despite crashing midway through his effort, while German Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) saw his efforts to place highly fall away after crashing close to the finish of the course.
he stage was won by Julian Alaphilippe, who extended his grasp on the yellow jersey over Geraint Thomas, who finished second on the stage and holds onto his second place overall.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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