Loren Rowney sustained injury as she raced for the line in Molecaten Drentse Acht van Westerveld

Dutch race organisers are investigating a crash within metres of the finish of the Molecaten Drentse Acht van Westerveld race in the eastern province of Drenthe yesterday. Australian rider Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM) fractured her collarbone in the incident, which was caused by a spectator reaching out of the crowd and coming into contact with her handlebars.

The video shows the final moments of the 138-kilometre event, which was won by Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) from a group of five women. As the riders were sprinting for the line, a hand clearly reaches out from the crowd, grabbing Rowney’s handlebar and bringing her to the ground.

It is obvious from the video that the person had been banging the advertising boards before his or her hand comes into contact with the handlebars. The riders were travelling at full speed, sprinting for the win, and Rowney is lucky not to have sustained more serious injuries.

Organisers, who visited the 26-year-old in hospital, tweeted that the incident would be investigated. In a statement, organiser Femmy van Issum said, “I do not think it was intentional, nobody does anything like that on purpose, but I would like to get in touch with the person who has put his hand out. That way we can arrange insurance for Rowney.”

Rowney, in her fourth year with the German registered Velocio team, competed at last year’s road World Championships in Ponferrada, in Spain.

The race is the first of a series of events the organisers stage this week, which includes the Ronde van Drenthe, the first round of the women’s World Cup, which takes place on Saturday.

  • poisonjunction

    This video doesn’t show the incident very well, to see the ‘interference’ go to ‘steephill for the race video’s – an outstretched arm is clearly visible as the rider challenges for the line, then finishes on the floor!

  • Dave2020

    Yes, that’s ONE interpretation. If double barriers had been in place – a no-brainer – there would be no room for doubt! But then the UCI should have addressed the initial cause of most crashes like this; i.e. the riders themselves:-

    “In the first moments I thought that it maybe was my fault.” – Bronzini. She knows full well what she’s doing. That sense of guilt acknowledges what she did. There’s acres of space to her right.

    “I was coming up on Giorgia in the sprint on her left, and she could see me. She was trying to hold me as close to the barriers as possible, so I couldn’t come up, which is fair play.” – Loren Rowney.

    Good grief; that’s not fair play. It’s unsporting, dangerous and totally unnecessary, IF you’re a decent sprinter.

    Taking your opponent’s line is reason for disqualification on the track, or at least a yellow card. It’s way past the time when the UCI should impose better discipline on the road too.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I can’t see how this could be deliberate. Who would want to injure their own hand or arm?

  • Adam Beevers

    Definitely looks deliberate to me

  • Ian Moss

    The spectator is drumming the boards. The contact with the rider, the arm seemed to be outstretched a little further than the previous when it contacts the handlebars…

  • Dave2020

    It is a long-established fact that eye-witness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

    Even with the benefit of video replay, people describe seeing something they can’t actually see.

    I see a spectator enthusiastically drumming the boards, as they do, and a rider who drifts too close to the barriers. Anything beyond that is imaginary.

    We know how to prevent these accidents – double barriers. Why aren’t they in place here?

  • NitroFan

    Morons like this WILL end up costing responsible fans the chance to get close to the action at finishes.

  • Namothy

    “not intentional”? It looks deliberate. If not a deliberate act, it was an act of rank stupidity and negligence.

  • jon

    What is wrong with people?