Ever grit your teeth so hard that one of them actually breaks? That's what Victor Campenaerts did at Dwars door Vlaanderen

The Belgian's desperation for a podium caused him to break his teeth, as he only managed to finish fourth

Victor Campenaerts Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Lotto Soudal)

Victor Campenaerts' determination to at least score a podium at his home race of Dwars door Vlaanderen culminated in the Belgian grinding his teeth together so hard one of them broke. 

The Lotto-Soudal rider launched a stinging move from the leading group and built up an ever-increasing gap to around six seconds as the chasers attempted to reel him back. His lead stayed intact for a while though, and it was only until six kilometres were left to race when Tisej Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) eventually managed to bridge across to Campenaerts. 

>>> Can Mathieu van der Poel beat Wout van Aert at Tour of Flanders? Dutchman says he'll need to get better

However, while trying to fend off the seven other riders in the breakaway group, Campenaerts managed to break one of his teeth through his sheer will to win - which only became apparent after the race through his team's Twitter account. 

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Lotto-Soudal accompanied a picture of the Belgian baring his teeth with the tweet: "When you grit your teeth so hard that one of them actually breaks."

Speaking to reporters after Dwars door Vlaanderen, Campenaerts seemed slightly despondent with his fourth-place finish, five seconds behind winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). 

"I think it was a very nice race," Campenaerts said. "I was very motivated for this race. We just got away from the peloton and I think we had the best riders, except for [Tadej] Pogačar - he had to do a chase and he couldn't make it.

"We had good cooperation in our group, but then in the end I think I had the legs to maybe win the race, but also you need a bit of luck. I'm quite disappointed I didn't make it onto the podium, maybe I wasn't strong enough to get rid of Pidcock.

"We wish there were more attacks to create chaos, but there were actually no attacks, so I decided to do an attack myself, which was not bad."

Despite narrowly missing out on the podium today (Wednesday), Campenaerts tried to remain optimistic ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. When asked who his biggest rival for the win might be, though, he suggested Wout van Aert will be the main competition. 

"Maybe I can get a good result at Tour of Flanders, let's go for that."

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.