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Wout van Aert Nearly Run Over: “It Was Really Harrowing”

Jul 31, 2023

Jan Bakelants, who was on the ride with van Aert, said the driver didn't like they were riding on the roads and not the adjacent bike path.

According to one of his training partners, Wout van Aert was "almost killed" this week by a concrete truck making a close pass while the driver laid on his horn, angry that the group was taking up space on the road, according to

Appearing on the Wielerclub Wattage podcast, one-time yellow jersey wearer Jan Bakelants said that the incident happened while he and van Aert, along with Belgian cyclocross racer Daan Soete, were out on a training ride on Tuesday.

The group was in the midst of their training ride, which left from van Aert's home in Herentals, Belgium before making its way toward the Dutch city of Eindhoven, when a truck driver appeared to take exception with their usage of the road.

The truck driver—apparently upset that the trio was riding in the road rather than on an adjacent bike path—passed the group so close that van Aert was forced to drive Soete off the road, himself following immediately after. And according to Bakelants, the Tour of Flanders favorite nearly ended up "under" the truck's concrete mixer.

The group was riding on the road as, according to Bakelants, an adjacent bicycle path was "not adapted" for the speeds at which the trio was training.

"It was really harrowing," Bakelants, the former racer who rode for AG2R, Quick-Step, and Team RadioShack, told Wielerclub hosts Tom Boonen and Dirk De Wolf.

Thankfully, no one was hurt and van Aert is still on schedule to start this Sunday's Tour of Flanders, where he is expected to compete for a victory.

Michael Venutolo-Mantovani is a writer and musician based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He loves road and track cycling, likes gravel riding, and can often be found trying to avoid crashing his mountain bike.

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