Tour of Flanders: Naesen pushes through sickness to take seventh place

Tour of Flanders - Oliver Naesen of Belgium and Team Ag2R La Mondiale on the Paterberg

AG2R La Mondiale 's Oliver Naesen defied illness to take seventh place at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, saying that he was happy enough with his performance given the circumstances. "I wasn't at my best. I really felt the effects of the antibiotics, and I still felt it in the lungs, for sure. I really raced on mental strength," Naesen told reporters at the finish in Oudenaarde, Belgium. "On paper, it was my best result at Flanders, but I would already have been on the podium if I hadn't have crashed on the Kwaremont in 2017. On paper it's my best result, but it wasn't my best race," he said. A healthy Naesen may well have been in better contention for the Ronde title, but he was nevertheless among the favourites in the group that was led home by 2015 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), with none of ...

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