Monique van der Vorst (Rabobank Women’s Team) had been disabled since she was 13-years-old and competed in handcycling until early 2010 when she was involved in an accident with a bicycle rider. Interrupting her preparation for the 2012 Paralympic Games, she began a solid rehabilitation program and amazingly she began to slowly recover the use of her legs.
One year on and apparently able-bodied, she signed for the Rabobank Women’s Team late last year. This was a headline story at the time and given the right training and support, the team was confident she could develop a professional road cycling career.
In a bizarre twist and barely six months into her season the team has released a statement saying she will be leaving the team. Limited details were issued however medical reasons have been cited for the immediate decision. A statement on rabobsport.com wrote:
“As of July 1, the Rabobank Women's Team will say goodbye to Monique van der Vorst. The team doctors have advised her no longer to take part in bicycle racing, which the team is in agreement on. This puts an end to the team’s plans to cultivate Van der Vorst into a pro racer, and so keeping her on the squad is no longer a workable situation.”
Little else is known about the Dutchwoman apart from the confusion over the precise nature of her previous disabilities. It appears there’s more to this story than has been told.