"The first hours were the worst: you feared for his life" - Wout van Aert admits news of Van Hooydonck's crash hit him hard

The cycling world was shocked last week by news of Jumbo-Visma star, Nathan van Hooydonck being involved in a serious car accident. Close friend and teammate, Wout van Aert has now spoken out about the incident.

“I was training when I got the news. It felt like I had been holding my breath all day until the news came that he had woken up. It hit me hard," admits the Belgian who is currently preparing for the upcoming European Championships. "It was a big relief, but there are still a lot of questions for him and for us. The first hours were the worst: you feared for his life and it came out of nowhere."

"We are in contact every now and then. We haven't really called yet, but he is recovering well. How he is doing in concrete terms is something he or the team has to communicate about," van Aert updates of his compatriots condition.

Van Aert himself hasn't had perfect preparation for the European Championships, battling illness. "I now feel healthy again, but last week I had an acute stomach flu. It wasn't much fun for a few days. I had to cancel some training sessions," he explains. "That is never ideal, but with the Tour of Britain in my legs and with some extra rest I will be fresh at the start. The last 2 days I felt normal again and I hope I have not lost anything from my form. If I can perform at a high level, the goal should be a podium in this time trial."

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