By Jonny Long
Annemiek van Vleuten has been taken to hospital following a crash on stage seven of the Giro Rosa.
The world champion was one of many riders brought down in a crash on the downhill into the finish line.
The race leader made it across the finish line but with only one hand on her handlebars, reports suggesting she may have suffered a broken wrist.
She finished three seconds down on stage winner Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal), still leading Katarzyna Niewiadoma by nearly two minutes in the overall classification, yet looks unlikely to line up for stage eight.
The crash is also bad timing ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in a week's time in Imola, where Van Vleuten would have been looking to defend her rainbow jersey as one of the pre-race favourites.
Marianne Vos was also caught up yet escaped mostly unscathed, telling Dutch broadcaster NOS it was a combination of stress and wheels colliding that culminated in the crash.
"Several riders crashed at high speed, we were riding downhill. It went really fast, we couldn't avoid each other," Vos said. "I think it was a combination of stress before the last corner and wheels hitting. Then it was a big knock," she tells the NOS. "I think I was lucky."
Van Vleuten's Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Amanda Spratt was also taken to hospital, where both will have their injuries further evaluated, the team said.
"Race leader Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt both crossed the line and have been taken to hospital to have their injuries evaluated. Further updates will be provided when facts are available," Mitchelton-Scott confirmed.
More to follow...
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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