Flanders 2021 - Dylan van Baarle: Three weeks ago I couldn't even walk
Sep 27 2021 07:20 am CET

Flanders 2021 - Dylan van Baarle: Three weeks ago I couldn't even walk
Flanders 2021 - Dylan van Baarle: Three weeks ago I couldn't even walk
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Dylan van Baarle (The Netherlands, Ineos-Grenadiers) has sprinted to get the silver medal at the World Championships of Flanders 2021, only weeks after crashing out of the Vuelta a España.

The Dutchman crashed on the 17 stage of the Vuelta a España -the one of Lagos de Covadonga- and had to abandon on the spot. Further examinations showed that he had a tear in his pelvis, that took him out of the road, a reason why he didn't know if he was going to make it to the World Championships.

Van Baarle was part of the front group throughout the final stretch of the road race and after Julian Alaphilippe escaped, he remained with the rest of the chasing group. The rider arrived with the small group and sprinted to take the silver medal, just ahead of Denmark's Michael Valgren, a result that required photofinish to be confirmed.

"I don't quite realise it yet," said Van Baarle to Dutch broadcaster NOS. "Three weeks ago, I couldn't even walk. When I was in the group, I already thought: I'm competing for the podium. Then they started the sprint and I crossed the finish line. At that moment, I didn't really know what had happened.

"The past few weeks everything has gone pretty smoothly. But the first week I was home, I was not allowed to walk, and actually I was not able to walk. Then we built up everything slowly, and it was just enough time to be okay here."

The entire Dutch team was built to help one of the favourites for the title, Mathieu van der Poel, a task that Van Baarle didn't forget during the race. "I asked him in the final stretch what I could do for him," the Dutchman explained. "He just told me to sneak into a good breakaway. And I did. Really bizarre."

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DYLAN VAN BAARLE





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