Rally Cycling lost another rider on stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia Donne after climber Krista Doebel-Hickok came down in a crash that left the Canadian with a fractured radius and the team with just four riders.
“I crashed out of the #GiroDonne, but life goes on,” said Doebel-Hickok on Twitter. “Send all your luck to my 4 teammates who are ready to take on the final 5 stages.”
Doebel-Hickok said despite the injury: “I’m flying home to CA with my 3 favorite things—hope, happiness and health.”
It could have been even worse for the US-based squad, though, with Sara Poidevin also coming down in the same crash, but she fought back to regain contact. Then, however, she needed a bike change and ended up being the final rider across the line on the flat 120-kilometre stage from Milan to Carugate.
Doebel-Hickok is the second rider from the team to depart in as many days, with Holly Breck among the riders to fall short of the time cut on stage 4’s 11.2-kilometre mountain time trial.
Breck fell just 16 seconds outside the limit, which was set 7:49 behind the winning time of Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx). Bizkaia-Durango was the team hardest hit by the 30 per cent time cut, losing two-thirds of the team as four of its riders headed home.
Doebel-Hickok had been Rally's second-highest place rider on the overall at the start of the stage, in 34th spot, with German climber Clara Koppenburg holding firm in 22nd place on stage 5 after crossing the with bunch during the flat sprint stage.
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won stage 5 ahead of Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) and Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), while race leader Van der Breggen also finished safely in the peloton.
The 10-day tour, the longest on the women's calendar, now heads into the second half with SD Worx holding the top three spots on the overall. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is in second behind Van der Breggen and ahead of Demi Vollering. Stage 6, which starts and finishes in Colico, is the longest day on the race with a 155-kilometre loop along the shores of the Lago di Como.
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