Thursday 13 June 2019

Fortune and misfortune for Marianne Vos at the Women's Tour

This week one of the key events in women's professional cycle racing has been taking place, the OVO Energy Women's Tour. The event, which first started in 2014, has grown over its six-year history, and many professional riders have called out the Women's Tour as one of the top races on the international racing calendar.
The World's best women racers at the Cyclopark
So its good for us as it means we get the top racers gracing our shores for a week. For the first time, one of the stages was held at the Cyclopark, near Gravesend. 

Earlier this year the Cyclopark was the setting for the top cyclocross racers in the country for the National Championships, and on Tuesday it hosted the top women racers in the world.

Racing was fast - at times, in excess of 30 miles per hour. So I guess that for local fast amateur riders they're going to be a little gutted that their Strava QOMs have been annihilated!

The race was won by the most successful women's racer in history, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), ahead of Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) and Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott).

Although a win for Lizzie would have made a good news story for the home girl, I was so pleased to Marianne Vos's win. This win subsequently put her in the lead in the general classification.

Marianne is such a brilliant racer to watch in action, even down to the smooth slick way she effected her bike change when she got a puncture.

Marianne Vos wins Stage 2 of the Women's Tour (only to crash out on Stage 3)
As someone who has interviewed Marianne Vos several times over the last few years, I think she is such a lovely friendly woman, who is a great ambassador for women's cycling, and who always has time for the fans, and for journalists too!

Sadly, the following day Marianne crashed out of the Women's Tour following a cut to the head after a crashing heavily. The crash looked like the stuff of nightmares - the sort of thing that scares me when I used to be in a peloton.

The riders were in full speed contesting an intermediate sprint near Didcot, Oxfordshire when one of Marianne Vos's lead-out riders, Jeanne Korevaar, lost her handlebars when she went over a pot-hole.

Marianne had no where to go and crashed into a verge, and collided with a post in the process. A domino effect ensued and a massive chunk of the peloton went down, with riders scattered across the width of the road.

At the Stage 2  press conference looking to the rest of the race 
As well as Vos and her two of her team-mates being out of the race there were around 10 other DNF's among them big names like Barbara Guarischi (Virtu Cycling) and Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM). 

Thankfully, Marianne was not badly injured in the crash and just needed stitches for the cuts to her head. However, she says her face looks like she's just been in a boxing match. I also imagine that her morale would have taken more of a hit than the physical wounds as the Women's Tour had been a target race for her, and she probably would have been wanting to go one better than her second place achievement last year.
The crash did put a downer on the event, especially after having had a great time at the Cyclopark the day before. I know crashes are part of cycle racing, but it's still sad to see, particularly when it's the race leader who crashes out. Lisa Brennauer (WNT-ROTOR) the new race leader at the end of the Oxfordshire stage, had mixed emotions and was not especially joyous at taking the leader's jersey in those circumstances.

Wishing all the best and speedy recovery to all the riders and looking forward to seeing them back racing soon.

Related posts
Women's cycling just got Strongher

Fun at the Women's Tour

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