[su_row][su_column size="1/2″][/su_column] [su_quote cite="OLIVER NAESEN"]
Oliver Naesen: "That's why we ride bikes
"It was a real race. That's why you ride a bike. That's what the classics are all about. Today was full gas from start to finish and that suits me fine. As I get older, I get stronger when the race is long. I sprinted with experience. There was a headwind and I went out at the last moment. I've been on the podium for three Sundays in a row (editor's note: 2nd in the eighth stage of Paris-Nice, 2nd in Milan-San Remo, 3rd in
Gent-Wevelgem). It's a good sign for next week with A Travers les Flandres on Wednesday and the Tour of Flanders on Sunday."[/su_quote]
Oliver Naesen's third place in Gent-Wevelgem is his 6th podium in a UCI WorldTour one-day race. He has won the GP de Plouay twice (2016-2018), finished second in Milan-San Remo (2019) and third in the E3 GP Harelbeke (2017), Eschborn-Frankfurt (2017) and Gent-Wevelgem (2019).
Tony Gallopin and Romain Bardet hit in a fall
Tony Gallopin and Romain Bardet were victims of a collective crash 40 km from the finish of the 7th stage of the Tour of Catalonia and were forced to abandon.
"Tony Gallopin suffers from a trauma of the left shoulder. He will undergo further tests early this week. Romain Bardet suffers from a traumatic injury to his rib cage with suspected fractures, which will require further tests," said Dr. Arthur Molique, AG2R La Mondiale team doctor.
"We were in the middle of a descent at 70 km/h. It went downhill really fast. I was taken to the sidewalk and fell over the bike. Given the violence of the fall, it could have been more serious," said Gallopin.
"The fall was violent because we were descending very fast. I suffered from ribs but the toll could have been higher. I am now waiting for the results of the complementary exams. This is not the end we hoped for in this big block of races in March," added Romain Bardet.
"It was a big crash, right where Bernal fell last year. After Axel on Friday, it was Tony and Romain's turn. We were very scared. The consequences are less serious than we feared. We will have to wait for the complementary exams to be completely reassured", says the sport director Stéphane Goubert.
Both riders returned to France after the stage, as initially planned. Axel Domont, victim of a crash on Friday in the 5th stage, underwent additional examinations on Saturday evening at the Centre Médipole de Savoie in Challes-les-Eaux (Savoie) which diagnosed a trauma of the right clavicle (without fracture) and a fracture of the pelvis at the level of the right hip. He will be unavailable for at least six weeks.