"There are no certainties in life, we see that again" - Tom Boonen on Wout van Aert's spring-ending crash

Without a doubt, Wout van Aert's crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen has been the most marking event of the week in the cycling world. Although the Tour of Flanders is only days away, a lot of the attention remains on the Team Visma | Lease a Bike rider, and others who have gone down with him such as Mads Pedersen who is still in doubt for the classic.

"That just happens, it's the race. There are no certainties in life, we see that again. You can do everything as it should be for six months, but then you still have no certainty," Tom Boonen said in the Wielerclub Wattage. "That has now become painfully clear once again. It really is a blow to the table. These are dangerous races, but it can happen anywhere. There are thirty or forty similar situations... wherever you ride at speed with a pack of riders, it remains dangerous."

Boonen is one of the most experienced voices out there when it comes to this type of race and he too, despite having an extraordinary palmarès, has had to skip races in his time including both monuments due to injuries. It is always a difficult experience specially as riders prepare throughout the winter and spring to be at their best level for these specific days; and Boonen believes that after so much dedication, van Aert has every reason to not be happy in the coming period of time.

"We have to leave him alone, he's not going to be in a good mood. Those are not the nicest times... you are in the hospital and there are twenty photographers waiting outside. We better leave him," he advises. "I also feel sorry for Mathieu Van der Poel. After last weekend I thought we would have a tough race. Everyone always grows a little towards De Ronde and Lidl-Trek had a strong team. Now we will have a completely different race. The pressure is entirely on Alpecin-Deceuninck and the racing will start early."

Although the Belgian legend believes more pressure will be on Alpecin, it is quite likely that van der Poel himself will have an easier task as both Team Visma | Lease a Bike and Lidl-Trek's blocks have been seriously damaged over the past few weeks with illnesses and injuries. Visma most likely will rely on a sole leader Matteo Jorgenson, instead of having numbers as their main card.

"The Ronde is perhaps the most important race of the year, one of the most important. That's what you live for and everything has been for Jan Joker, you feel that at that moment," Niki Terpstra added. "That's not true, but that's how it feels. A depressed feeling. Serve time and watch the race with pain in the heart, that's what you can do."

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