The third stage (145 kilometres) of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is one to quickly forget for CCC-Liv. There was no worry in sight for the team, but fate struck in preparation of the second intermediate sprint. A crash at the front of the peloton caused many riders to fall. GC and points leader Marianne Vos, Jeanne Korevaar and Valerie Demey were forced to abandon the race.
The three battered CCC-Liv riders were taken to the hospital after their fall. Jeanne had been dizzy for a while and was mainly bothered by her elbow, which had to be stitched in the hospital. Among other things, Marianne had a cut in her face which also needed stitching. Valerie tried to hold on a little while longer after the fall, but she eventually had to give up as well. Along the way, she was suffering from respiratory complaints caused by bruised ribs, as well as hip and chest pains.
After the stage to Blenheim Palace, won by Jolien D’Hoore, CCC-Liv’s adversity did not stop. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio also appeared to need medical care after being involved in the massive fall and a tumble at 35 kilometres from the finish. She was checked in the hospital late on Wednesday evening. Our South African top rider had a sprained ankle and bruises on her back. In consultation with the team management, it has been decided that she would not start on Thursday.
“There is a fine line between victory and defeat. On Tuesday we were still cheering after the stage win and powerful take-over in the two classifications; now we are grieving. I hope that our riders will recover well and quickly, so that we will soon see them shine again as always”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. “Although we are only left with a small team, we will try to make the most of it. As a team, we want to quickly overcome the misfortunes of Wednesday.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos