Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) crashed in the bunch sprint of the opening stage of the Healthy Ageing Tour on Wednesday. The Dutch sprinter was a favourite to win the stage but appeared to touch wheels with another rider and crashed as Jolien D'hoore (SD Worx) went on to win the race.
"A relief for us and great to see Lorena Wiebes back on her bike and crossing the line after a nasty crash in the finale," Team DSM wrote on social media. The team have not released the extend of Wiebes' injuries.
Live footage of the race showed the main peloton catching lone breakaway rider Daniek Hangeveld (GT Krush Tunap) in the set-up for the bunch sprint at the TT Circuit Assen, a motorsport race track.
Wiebes, one of the fastest sprinters in the world, was positioned in second wheel behind Alice Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) when she overlapped wheels through the final bend on the circuit. Wiebes hit the asphalt hard and rolled several times. She was eventually able to get back on her bike and cross the finish line. "Luckily I'm okay!" she later wrote in a post on Twitter.
D'hoore sprinted around Barnes to take the stage win.
"I almost crashed when Wiebes went down, but I could still make it to catch Barnes at the finish," D'hoore said.
"I'm pretty happy to take the win for the team today. I want to go for my chance, and had great team who helped me, so this was a great first day."
The UCI 2.1-classed Healthy Ageing Tour offers the women’s peloton three days of racing in between the Women’s WorldTour one-day events in March.
Organisers confirmed that the race would go ahead just two weeks ago, with no spectators and on closed courses. They launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund a livestream and to offset restrictions on spectators, and the event is broadcast on Eurosport and GCN+.
D’hoore takes the first leader’s jersey of the three-day Healthy Ageing Tour with four seconds ahead of Barnes and five seconds ahead of Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT). The racing resumes with the stage 2 time trial on Thursday.
Healthy Ageing Tour - etappe 1 is geëindigd in...:🥇 @JolienDhoore 🇧🇪 @teamsdworx🥈 @BarnesAlice 🇬🇧 @WMNcycling🥉 @Swinkels_K🇳🇱 @JumboVismaWomen . @ttcircuitassen | #HAT21 pic.twitter.com/VOIYrhtk2hMarch 10, 2021
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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