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Jan Bakelants: When they had taken me out of the ravine, someone drove a moped over my leg

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jan bakelants bike in tree il lombardia 2017
photo: Kramon

After he suffered fractures to seven ribs during Il Lombardia, Jan Bakelants looks back on a day on which worse things could have happened to him.

“I try to think about it as little as possible,” he told Sporza. “I fell six or seven metres deep and landed on my back on a rock. I don’t know exactly how everything happened. I came to the curve where De Plus had already fallen, just behind the favourites group. I think someone stopped because Laurens had fallen but then I just remember that I flew over the guardrail and fell down.”

“When they had taken me out of the ravine, someone drove a moped over my leg. I think I may say that I have been lucky enough that nothing more serious has happened after the fall. All the circumstances to make things worse were there.

“When I was back on the asphalt, someone wanted to pass with a moped. That man did not control the situation. He thought he had put his vehicle in neutral, but still shot straight and drove over my leg. I find it absurd that such a thing can be in a WorldTour race. Afterward, I have not received any apologies.”

“The doctors have confidence in it, but they cannot, of course, give 100% guarantees,” he said. “Now the hope is that my body does the necessary work. Only when that happens can I start planning when I could possibly be the old me again.”

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