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Wout Van Aert is out of the game for a while. The winner of stage ten of the Tour de France is still in the hospital after his crash in the time trial.
“Last week, I had an operation in Pau and afterwards, I stayed in the hospital for four days”, Van Aert said. “Everything went well. I could walk on crutches and the doctor said I needed some time to recover. After that, I was transferred to another hospital. Overthere, they examined me again. It seemed the first operation wasn’t enough to ensure the recovery. That’s why I needed a second one.”
It was a setback. “The day after the operation, I was in a lot of pain, but yesterday it went a bit better. Now I’m laying in bed, unable to do anything. Though I’m doing a few little exercises to keep things moving.”
Van Aert has to stay in hospital this weekend. “At home, we have a hospital bed ready, but there’s no point going there if I can’t leave my bed. The crash has had a bigger impact than I initially thought.”
Van Aert is spending his time watching cycling on television. “It hurts that I had to leave the Tour this way. It’s also a big disappointment for the team. Maybe I was in my best shape ever. And maybe I didn’t have the best legs during the time trial, but I was riding very well in the days before. Seeing how the team is performing now, I would have wanted to contribute. It’s very nice to see and follow, but it’s also painful.”
“I want to thank doctor Toon Claes for his expert assistance and performing the second recovery operation. This operation was very important for the rest of my career. I’m also very grateful for my family and my wife Sarah for their support.”