Annemiek van Vleuten forced to abandon Giro Rosa 2020 while leading the race 

The reigning world champion and team-mate Amanda Spratt were caught in a bad crash on stage seven

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten has been forced to pull out of the Giro Rosa 2020 while leading the race, after a crash in the final of stage seven.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider and her team-mate Amanda Spratt were both caught in a crash during a downhill section into Maddaloni, as Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) rode to stage victory.

Van Vleuten was able to get back on the bike and finish the stage, but she and Spratt were taken to hospital after the finish.  

Scans confirmed that Van Vlueten had suffered a broken left wrist, while Spratt didn’t suffer any fractures but has also abandoned the race after suffering concussion and an injured right shoulder. 

While Van Vleuten has had to give up her Giro Rosa title defence because of the injury, perhaps the most disappointing news is that she will miss the World Championships in Imola next week. 

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Van Vleuten, who still led the race by 1-48 over Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) at the close of stage seven, said: “I was in a good position just going safe to the finish. It was a good day for us, I was never in trouble, we were in control, I was having fun on the bike until the last 500 metres when the girls crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid them.

“I felt immediately it was not good with my wrist, because I saw that my wrist was not straight, so I knew straight away that was not good. I will go home now and I will have an operation on my wrist on Saturday.

“I’m super sad it’s not possible to defend the maglia rosa, but even more, no Worlds on a course that suits me. I’m disappointed that I cannot defend my world champion's jersey."

Spratt added: “Right now my biggest feeling is just disappointment, not just for me but for Vleuty and the whole team. Our Giro was going perfectly, and it all fell apart in one instant.

“I think I am lucky I don’t have a broken bone but the shoulder is very painful still and with a concussion I have to take it easy now. I hope to recover as quick as possible and be back racing soon. Thanks to the team for the incredible support.”

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The race lead now passes to Niewiadoma, who leads Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) by just 15 seconds, with two stages left to race. 

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.