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The shock news that Marianne Vos would not start the “Hell of the North” on Saturday due to a late-hour COVID positive rocked the cycling world, but won’t change the race, Teuntenberg says.
“It’s a big loss for the race. It won’t change the racing itself or the way we race, but there’s for sure one less strong opponent left. that’s a fact,” Teutenberg told VeloNews on Saturday morning.
- Vos out of Paris-Roubaix after positive COVID-19 test
- Van Dijk returns to Roubaix after concussion in 2021 edition
With 2021 champion Lizzie Deignan on maternity break, the Paris-Roubaix peloton rolled out without last year’s top-two in a race many expect to be dominated by the muscle of SD Worx, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope and Teuntenberg’s Trek team.
Even without Deignan, Trek Segafredo has all the horsepower required to take the race from the front.
Elisa Longo Borghini, Elisa Balsamo, Ellen van Dijk, Lucinda Brand and Audrey Cordon Ragot offer the team a multi-rider play for a dry, fast and dusty Paris-Roubaix.
“It will be crazy. There will still be a lot of crashes even though it’s not wet. It will just be harder and faster, but just as nervous compared to last year,” Teutenberg said.
“We just want to get through without bad luck. If you get through without bad luck you’re in a position to win this race, so it can change every moment. It’s hard to predict anything. And our strategy? You will have to see!”
— Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift (@RoubaixFemmes) April 16, 2022
Vos described testing positive for COVID just hours before the race Saturday as feeling as though “the world came crashing down” in the crystallization of a fear that lurks in the mind of the whole pro peloton.
As a former racer herself, Teutenberg could empathize with the Dutchwoman’s disaster situation.
“It’s horrible for her, I know she had a lot of focus on this race. It’s horrible for anyone of course,” Teuntenberg said. “You never wish that on anyone, everyone is worried about the idea that they test positive on the day of a big race – I feel really sad for her.”