Yves Lampaert has claimed that his history of martial arts training saved him from serious injury at Paris-Roubaix last Sunday.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was racing for a podium spot at the race before he clipped a fan standing on the side of the rode with 8km to go on the penultimate cobbled sector of Willems à Hem.
The Belgian crashed spectacularly, hitting his top tube first before catapulting over his handlebars and off the side of the road. While he still battled to 10th place, it was not the situation that he wanted to be in.
Speaking on Belgian television this week, Lampaert said that his historic training in martial arts prevented a more serious injury.
“Unconsciously I applied a judo technique,” he said on Extra Time Koers. “I’m a bit stiff, but nothing was broken. I have some bumps and bruises.”
“You fall very quickly and I didn’t think about it at the time, but I do believe that the instinct and training from judo is still in me,” he continued. “I pulled my hand away and made a rolling movement. I unconsciously applied the technique from judo. Otherwise I might have broken my collarbone.”
The Quick-Step rider explained that in judo you are taught how to break your fall in as safe a manner as possible, and therefore this helped him escape with just minor cuts and bruises, and a shock to the system.
Speaking immediately post-Roubaix on Sunday, Lampaert said that you should stay at home if you don't understand racing, describing the supporter who caused his crash as a "calf".
“Those are situations that should not happen in a race. It's a shame,” he said. “I wanted to cut that right turn and normally the supporters go backwards. But that man brought his arm forward and it hit my arm. As a result, I lost control of the bike and I couldn’t stay up.
“If you don't know anything about the race, then stay at home. For me, it was dramatic, because there was still a podium place at play. [Matej] Mohorič and [Dylan] van Baarle were stronger than me, but third place was perhaps just achievable.”
This week, Lampaert denied that he should be more careful when racing close to the spectators on the cobbled sectors, as it should be the fans who have to watch out and give the riders space in those critical moments.
“Everyone else raced on the asphalt strip next to the cobblestones, so why should I go over the cobblestones?” he said.
“Otherwise we end up in an upside-down world, and we have to pay attention to the spectators instead of the other way around.”
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1