Jolanda Neff has been ruled out of next week’s UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships after fracturing her elbow and right collarbone at the recent World Cup event in Hoogerheide.
Neff, the reigning cross-country MTB World Champion, crashed heavily on lap four of the race when she and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot touched on an off-camber descent. Both looked to be in severe pain and were taken to hospital. While Ferrand-Prevot managed to avoid any broken bones, the same couldn’t be said about Neff. It is a big blow for the Swiss team, who believed that Neff could have put the nation on the podium for the first time in the elite women’s race.
"Jolanda was in excellent condition. She was able to win a medal at these cyclo-cross worlds," said national coach Bruno Diethelm.
Neff has undergone surgery at the Berit-Klinik in Speicher, Switzerland and is expected to be able to return to racing in just a few short weeks.
Vos takes confidence from Hoogerheide
Under normal circumstances, fourth place would be nothing to shout about for Marianne Vos. However, the seven-time cyclo-cross world champion took big confidence from finishing in just that spot at the Hoogerheide World Cup last weekend.
Vos struggled with illness over the New Year and had to sit out the defence of her national title as she tried to shrug it off. Fourth is her best result so far this season and is a sign for Vos that she’ll be able to compete at the World Championships in Valkenburg this weekend.
"I was nowhere 2 weeks ago, and now I'm back. It indicates that I do not have to get my mind off the World Championships," Vos said in a team press release. “I have really suffered today. During the race, I was thinking to myself: this is what I need. The intensity of a 'cross race is so high, no training can match that. My body has to get used to this again."
With several high-profile riders suffering problems during the race, she admits that the result might not be entirely representative of her form.
"Going into the final lap, I was in ninth place," she said. "Maybe this fourth place gives a somewhat distorted picture."
Van Vleuten to debut rainbow stripes at Herald Sun Tour
World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten will get the chance to show off her rainbow skinsuit for the first time at this week’s inaugural Women’s Herald Sun Tour.
Van Vleuten took the world title in dominant fashion in Bergen last September, beating her compatriot Anna van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She has already competed at the Santos Women’s Tour and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race but has not had an opportunity to don her world champion’s kit. She won’t get long to wear it, though, with the route covering just 1.6 kilometres, but she is understandably keen to have a chance to show it off.
“It is really exciting to have the time trial on the same day as the men in the city and, for me, it is extra exciting because it is the first time I can wear my rainbow jersey,” she said. “It’s an Australian race so it is even better for my team I can to wear the jersey here and I am really excited about that.”
“It’s a really short time trial but that suits me more and normally you don’t really look forward to the pain of a time trial but I am looking forward to it a lot and I expect the audience to be really big in Melbourne in the centre and before the men’s race, this is really special.”
This season is the first edition of the Women’s Herald Sun Tour and takes place over two days, beginning with a 112km road stage before the short time trial in Melbourne. Mitchelton-Scott has enjoyed a strong Australian summer with Amanda Spratt winning the Santos Women’s Tour. She will not be racing this week but, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race runner-up, Gracie Elvin will be there. Jessica Allen, Jennelle Crooks, Lucy Kennedy and Georgia Williams complete the line-up.
Mitchelton-Scott for Women’s Herald Sun Tour: Annemiek van Vleuten, Jessica Allen, Jennelle Crooks, Lucy Kennedy and Georgia Williams.
Hosking heads Ale Cipollini at Herald Sun Tour
After netting her second win of the year at last week’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Chloe Hosking heads to the Women’s Herald Sun Tour as Ale Cipollini’s nominated leader. Hosking has enjoyed a bumper start to her second year with the Italian team with victory on the final stage of the Santos Women’s Tour as well as her recent success.
Joining Hosking in their five-rider team will be Soraya Paladin, Anna Trevisi, Mayuko Hagiwara and Karlijn Swinkels.
“We have already won two races but for our competitiveness, we always aim for the best result in every race,” said team manager Fortunato Lacquaniti.
Ale Cipollini for the Women’s Herald Sun Tour: Soraya Paladin, Anna Trevisi, Mayuko Hagiwara and Karlijn Swinkels.