Racing at Valenciana taking an early-season toll

Riders are still finding their legs, and teams are still adjusting tactics and execution, which means crashes are all but inevitable.

At the 2020 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Dylan Groenewegen, crashed —prior to winning the stage—but was still able to recover and get back into the race, with the help of his team, Jumbo-Visma.

“It was an easy day but in the final I crashed at around 30km from the finish. The team was waiting for me and I was in a good position to sprint. I had some mechanical problems but it was ok…I had some problems with my bike after the crash but it was ok [to complete the stage].”

Groenewegen’s teammate, Tobias Foss, in his first race as a professional, was not so lucky.

Crashing hard in Stage 2, Foss — the winner of the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir — was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a broken clavicle. Foss expects to return to racing, as soon as he’s cleared by team doctors.

“What a start to my pro career, haha! A broken collarbone that needs a surgery is the case, so I am happy it didn’t [go] worse! Huge thanks to the team for taking good care of me and thanks for all the messages!”

Tobias Foss exits his professional debut, with a broken collarbone. Photo: Courtesy Jumbo Visma

And, seasoned racers are not immune from crashes, either. Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondial), hit the deck while exiting a rotary with 15km to go in Stage 3. The experienced Frenchman suffered a fractured left scaphoid. At this time, there is no timeline for Gallopin’s return to racing.

Gallopin’s teammate, Oliver Naesen, also went down, suffering a bruised pelvis, but managed to escape without a fracture.