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Belgian leader Vandenabel surrenders after fall in Future Tour: 'Physically and mentally exhausted' |  Cycling

Belgian leader Vandenabel surrenders after fall in Future Tour: ‘Physically and mentally exhausted’ | Cycling

Henri Vandenabel, 21, was the Belgian team’s banner on the Future Tour. The DSM rider was second in the Baby Giro last year and third in the Italian stage race this year.

However, today he fell. “The classification was our big goal in the future tour,” explained national team coach Sven Vanthornhout. “Everyone was also very eager to help Henry.”

“Yesterday we rode more than good team time experience (the fifth) and today we wanted to spend time with the other rating riders. We knew it was going to be a fan trip, we were ready and everything went as planned until Henry crashed.”

The knight suffered scrapes and bruises all over his body. “Henry got back on his bike and tried, but when we got to the local circuit, he punctured again, lost more time and eventually came down.”

“He had disappeared both physically and mentally. Physically because of the many wounds he had suffered. He also knew that he would be in a lot of pain in the coming days and mentally something like that would break something with such a boy.”

“He came here as a rating rider and saw the smoke coming up. There’s no point in paying anymore. Thankfully there are no fractures, and he’s going home tomorrow to recover.”

Not all was bleak for the Belgians. Arnaud De Lie and Stan Van Tricht finished second and third today.

“Now we have to try to pick a few stages and aim to win each stage,” said Vanthornhout, the national team coach. “Today we were close to Arnaud and Stan, but we will be in stages two and three.”

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“Arnaud really surprised me. It was a tough reach, 900m around 4.5 to 5% and it held up really well, that’s a first year promise. That promises the future.”

“In the high mountains we will not be involved in collecting balls in the coming days, but with Gino Berkmus we will now try to get as far as possible, although that will not be an easy task.”

“The field for participants is very large here. There are a lot of promises shared by World Tour teams such as Astana, Jumbo-Visma and the UAE Team Emirates.”