'Not over yet': Concussion lingers for Ellen van Dijk after Paris-Roubaix crashes

The European road race champion fell multiple times in the first ever women's 'Hell of the North'

Ellen van Dijk at 2021 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ellen van Dijk says she is still feeling the effects her crashes at the first women's Paris-Roubaix, confirming "I still cannot train the normal amount of hours or intensity that I would like."

She added that the effects of the concussion had affected her off-season and were "not over yet."

The European road race champion and world time trial champion, Van Dijk, had an incredibly good 2021 but finished with a tough ride at the 'Hell of the North' where she crashed four times, sustaining a concussion and finishing in 32nd place, 8-32 behind Trek-Segafredo team-mate Lizzie Deignan. 

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Van Dijk is currently at Trek-Segafredo's training camp despite still feeling the effects.

"February will be my first race so it's really nice that I have the time," Van Dijk said in a press conference at the team's training camp."

"If you could time a concussion I think I would time it right now because... there's not so much stress and I really have the time to recover from it."

Concussion can bring with it very serious side effects, and recovery requires rest. Van Dijk said: "I still cannot train the normal amount of hours or intensity that I would like to so I still have to adjust and I have to rest a lot more... I think it's going quite well and then all sudden I have to complete off day again and I cannot train or something. I'm still juggling with it, but it's going better and better.

"It's just something that's not over yet. It's affecting training with everything, all of life.

"I had a nice offseason but I couldn't really do so many social things because when you have noise and light and everything around it's... it's not so nice. 

"That was just a shame but at the same time, you know, there's enough nice things to look back on so that much easier."

The 34-year-old added that her race programme is very similar to the season just gone with the Classics being her first major goal where she will play a joint leadership role alongside the likes of Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Deignan.

After that she will be hoping to look at the first edition of the reincarnated women's Tour de France which she said had "a bit for everyone" but she "only really missed the time trialing."

After that the Dutch powerhouse aims to defend her European road title and world time trial title as well as potentially going for the European TT and worlds road race as well.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.