By Owen Rogers
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.
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