Van Vleuten and Spratt forced to withdraw from Giro Rosa
Race leader Annemiek van Vleuten and Australian champion Amanda Spratt have been forced to withdraw from the Giro Rosa following a crash in the finale of stage seven in Maddolini.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT pair were part of a select group contesting for the stage victory before going down inside the final three kilometres, unable to avoid riders falling in front of them.
Despite being able to roll across the line to finish the stage, the duo were taken to hospital for examinations.
Scans have confirmed a broken left wrist for Van Vleuten, who will return to Holland for surgery in the coming days.
Spratt has avoided any fractures but suffered a heavy hit to her right shoulder and head and was later diagnosed with concussion.
Annemiek van Vleuten:
“I was in a good position just going safe to the finish. It was a good day for us, I was never in trouble, we were in control, I was having fun on the bike until the last 500 metres when the girls crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid them.
“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. I will go home now and I will have an operation on my wrist on Saturday.
“I’m super sad it’s not possible to defend the maglia rosa, but even more, no worlds on a course that suits me. I’m disappointed that I cannot defend my world champion's jersey."
“Right now my biggest feeling is just disappointment, not just for me but for Vleuty and the whole team. Our Giro was going perfectly, and it all fell apart in one instant.
“I think I am lucky I don’t have a broken bone but the shoulder is very painful still and with a concussion I have to take it easy now. I hope to recover as quick as possible and be back racing soon. Thanks to the team for the incredible support.”
Dr. Stephen Baynes - Team Doctor:
“With Annemiek there is a fracture in her left wrist. She had x-rays and a CT scan at the hospital and some treatment. She will now go back to the Netherlands and get a specialist’s opinion and will probably have surgery on Saturday.
“Amanda has got a stiff, painful right shoulder and a concussion, so we will be looking after her within the team for the next few days.
"I’d also like to thank the race doctors and ambulance crew at the race for their help.”