Cyclist Luke Rowe 'gutted' by Tour of Flanders disqualification

Luke Rowe
Luke Rowe broke his leg in 25 places while white-water rafting in Prague in August, 2017

Welsh cyclist Luke Rowe says his controversial disqualification from the Tour of Flanders will "fuel" him for his forthcoming races in Paris-Roubaix and at the Commonwealth Games.

The Team Sky rider has only just returned after seven months out with a broken leg.

He was disqualified by the race jury in Belgium on Sunday after riding onto a bike path amongst spectators.

"Of course I'm gutted," said the 28-year-old.

"There was a bit of flick in the line and I got forced onto the bike path.

"I was on the bike path for about 100 metres and it was a case of end up on the bike path or hit a bit of road furniture and crash and I got forced onto the bike path.

"It's not an option I wanted to take. That led to me getting disqualified from the race."

From France to the Gold Coast

Luke Rowe
Luke Rowe was the Team Sky road captain at the 2017 Tour de France won by Chris Froome

Rowe will now compete in the one day Paris-Roubaix road race on 8 April before representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

And he is determined to put the controversy and his injury problems behind him.

"Yeah I guess it fuels the fire a little bit," he added.

"In a normal year I'd have done quite a few more classics in the build-up, but this year with only riding the last few classics there's only so many opportunities, so you've got to grab them with both hands.

"In the last few years I've had a bit of bad luck in these races. A couple of years ago I crashed and broke some ribs and last year in Flanders I crashed pretty hard.

"I just want a clean run, no punctures, sometimes these things go your way sometimes they don't."

Luke Rowe and Team Sky teammates
Luke Rowe has ridden for Team Sky since 2012

Rowe admits he's eagerly anticipating the opportunity to race for Wales down under after finishing sixth in the road race in Glasgow 2014, won by compatriot Geraint Thomas.

He is in the squad for the road race events and is keen to repay the support shown to him by Team Wales during his recovery from injury.

Much of Rowe's recovery was spent at Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.

"I've met a lot of the other athletes, the staff and worked closely with them and they've really helped me with the rehab... so I kind of feel like I'm a bit more integrated in the team.

"I think that will make it a bit more special.

"I remember that when you go into Sport Wales there's a sign, a ticker with a countdown to the Commonwealth Games, and I remember going in and every time I looked it was counting down.

"I always kind of had one eye on it and you know as the weeks went down the days were decreasing and decreasing, suddenly I started really taking steps forward and that's when I realised I could actually make it.

"I think that's something I'll always remember about those days... I would always look at that sign, register it and see how many days there were to go."

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