Vos taken down but not out in Flanders crash
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Vos taken down but not out in Flanders crash

by Ben Atkins at 9:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders

Initially disappointed at having missed out on victory in Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, World Cup leader Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) was nevertheless philosophical about what might have been after coming down at the race’s mid point after a spectator got in the way of the peloton. Vos managed to remount and continue, but her teammate Liesbet De Vocht was not so lucky and had to abandon the race.

“We had a crash about 1km before the Eikenberg,” the Dutch champion told VeloNation. “I was in the wheel of Liesbet de Vocht and right after a corner an old man crossed the street. We rode into him at over 50km/h and we also took [down] Iris Slappendel [Cervélo] in the crash. Liesbet had to leave the race because she fell on her head, but she's okay now I believe. Fortunately the man survived his suicide action too.”

The next few kilometres were tough for Vos and her team, as technical issues from the crash forced her to chase back on. “After the crash I had to get another bike twice, so my teammates and I had a hard time to get back in front in this cobble zone,“ she explained.

The chase group after the penultimate climb of the Muur van Geraardsbergen managed to catch Vos’ former teammate, breakaway rider Adrie Visser (HTC-Columbia). It lacked the cohesion to pull back eventual winner Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladies) however, and after her problems earlier in the race, Vos felt unable to do more.

Going into the race as one of the big favourites, Vos had to settle for second place, bettering her previous best third place of 2007 behind Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke.

“In the final I couldn't give any more and Grace rode a hell of a race,” she said, “so I think second was all I could do. We tried to get her back, but we had no organisation in our group.

“On the line Grace's advantage was only 3 seconds, so for the first moment I was a little bit disappointed, but we'll have new chances next year. That I can start in the leaders jersey of the World Cup next Saturday in [the Ronde van] Drenthe means a lot too, because it's in Holland.”

Luckily for the 22-year-old World cyclocross champion, her injuries were entirely superficial and she returned to winning ways at the Ronde van Werkendam race.

“Today I rode a crit only 20 km from my hometown and I won,” she said, “so luckily no serious damage for me, only the scrape you see on your photo.”

Vos, the defending World Cup champion, leads the standings with 125 points after two rounds. Ronde winner Verbeke now sits in second place with 84, with Emma Johansson (RedSun Cycling), Vos’ big rival from 2009, on 65.


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