Sarah Düster broke her pelvis in a crash a the Herald Sun World Cycling Classic on Sunday, which was won by her German teammate Trixi Worrack. As a result, the German women's team for the road race next weekend is now down to only five riders.
Düster, 28, crashed into a rider who had fallen in front of her. “This is extremely tragic," said Udo Sprenger of the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR). “Sarah was the innocent victim of a crash at low speed. “
The German women's team was already one rider short, after Claudia Häusler suffered head injuries in the Giro dell Toscana that left her unable to ride for two to three weeks.
“I'm terribly sorry for Sara and it is also bad for the team,” said women's team trainer Thomas Liese. “But we have to accept it, and won't nominate a replacement.”
The team had already decided not to replace Häusler. “The athletes who are still in German have already ended their season and are surely not on form for the Worlds. There is also the whole stress of travelling and jet lag, so it just doesn't make any sense,” Liese said on the BDR's website.
He is still optimistic about the chances for his team, which feature three strong favourites in Judith Arndt, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Worrack.
“The quality is there in the team. The other top riders are in absolute top form and I think that we can still do something with this team. Trixi rode a very strong race today and the others showed that they are in good form,” he said.
It was the second consecutive year of a disaster at the world championships for Düster. Last year she had to leave the team hotel in tears at the last minute when it was discovered that she was not registered to ride. The BDR acknowledged its administrative failure at what would have been her first Worlds appearance.
“After our registration mishap last year, such a crash with so serious consequences is even more bitter,” Sprenger said. “All of us in the team management are suffering with her.”