Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) has been forced to abandon the OVO Energy Women's Tour after crashing during Wednesday's third stage. Wearing the green overall race leader's jersey, Vos crashed and sustained injuries that included lacerations to her face that required stitches, according to a team statement.
"The speed went up in preparation for the second intermediate sprint," Vos said in a CCC-Liv press release. "There was a fall before me, due to a dent in the road, which I could not avoid."
Stage 3 was a 145.1km race from Henley-on-Thames to Blenheim Palace in the south of England. The climbing began on this stage with two ascents straight out of the gates; a category 2 climb up Pishill is directly followed by a category 1 climb up Britwell Hill. An undulating section follows with two intermediate sprints in Wallingford and Didcot before finishing in Blenheim Palace.
A large crash ahead of the second intermediate sprint, located 65km into the stage, forced organisers to neutralise the race. Vos was involved in this crash and was taken to hospital to close the wounds on her face with stitches.
"I fell hard on my head and, apart from a cut and some scratches, I don't have any other injuries," Vos said. "Yet I went to the hospital because the cut had to be stitched. Very unfortunate, I was quite upset by it, because I was in such a good position. But even after a fall, the race continues, but this time without me."
Vos had won stage 2 of the OVO Energy Women's Tour, and after also picking up an intermediate sprint for time bonuses, moved into the overall race lead at the Kent Cyclopark on Tuesday. Heading into stage 3, Vos was leading the general classification by nine seconds ahead of both Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) and Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans). Vos was also leading the points classification.
Vos was the first overall winner of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in 2014, and she has won a record six stages.