“A beautiful sport with a dark edge” – Wout van Aert takes the hardest hit

The impact of the accident left an immediate mark on Wout van Aert, as his shirt was torn to shreds, his back caught fire due to road rash and multiple fractures causing severe pain. The magnitude of the moment took a beat or two longer to register.

When this happened, Van Aart's body began to convulse with sobs. He didn't need an x-ray to tell him what his broken heart already knew. His 2024 Classics campaign ended, not with victory on the Roubaix track, but here, on a lonely road outside Ronse, 67 kilometers from the Dwars Door Vlaanderen finish.

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