Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has abandoned the Giro Rosa with a broken wrist following a crash during Thursday’s seventh stage. The world champion will travel from Italy to the Netherlands on Friday to undergo surgery.
Van Vleuten and her Mitchelton-Scott team confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon .
“I felt immediately it was not good with my wrist, because I saw that my wrist was not straight, so I knew straight away that was not good,” van Vleuten said. “I will go home now and I will have an operation on my wrist on Saturday.”
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Van Vleuten’s teammate Amanda Spratt has also withdrawn from the race after being tangled up in the same crash. According to Mitchelton-Scott Spratt sustained a concussion and also injured her shoulder in the pileup.
“Right now my biggest feeling is just disappointment, not just for me but for Vleuty and the whole team,” Spratt said. “Our Giro was going perfectly, and it all fell apart in one instant.”
Van Vleuten held a comfortable overall lead of 1:48 over Katarzyna Niewiadoma in the Giro Rosa overall heading into the seventh stage. With less than one kilometer left in Thursday’s stage, she was involved in a crash with five other riders, including Spratt. The accident happened shortly before the last corner of the stage that would turn into a sprint. Van Vleuten crossed the finish line with one hand on the bars, the other already showing obvious deformity.
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) September 17, 2020
The injury means van Vleuten will now miss the upcoming UCI road world championships, which are being held next week in Italy. She is the defending champion in the road race, and also a favorite to contend for a medal in the individual time trial.
“I’m super sad it’s not possible to defend the maglia rosa, but even more, no worlds on a course that suits me,” van Vleuten said. “I’m disappointed that I cannot defend my world champion’s jersey.”
Van Vleuten came into the revised 2020 race season in exceptional form, with victories at the first five races she started. In late August, she became the European national champion.
VeloNews will be following the story.