Watch: Cobble crash diverts Ellen van Dijk down grassy bank in Boels Ladies Tour

The European time trial champion was able to get back on the bike to continue the prologue

(Image credit: Getty Images)

European time trial champion Ellen van Dijk was sent hurtling down a grassy bank at the side of the road after her chain slipped in the prologue of the Boels Ladies Tour.

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The 3.8 kilometre prologue covered a circuit of the Tom Dumoulin BikePark in Sittard, with the course made up of technical, twisty roads, with a cobbled stretch.

Exciting the cobbles, the Trek-Segafredo rider was forced to unclip, rolling sideways on to the grass.

The force of the first chainless pedal stroke seemed to almost send her over the bars, though thankfully a foot down manoeuvre seemed to prevent the more impactful dismount.

The Dutch rider managed to complete the stage, finishing 100th of 101 riders, 1 minute 48 seconds down on the 5-04 time of winner Annemiek van Vleuten.

Having previously tweeted that she looked forward to a "twisty prologue", the 32-year-old said after the race: "Ok, this what not really what I meant with a ‘twisty prologue’. Unfortunately my chain dropped off the front chainring after the cobbles. Disappointed, but happy to be ok!"

The six day stage race in the Netherlands continues tomorrow, with a 123km sprinter's stage from Stramproy to Weert.

Stage three is also expected to be a day for the sprinter's, covering four laps of a 29km loop. The GC contenders are likely to be more excited by the hillier stage three, over 156km from Nijverdal to Nijverdal.

The following day features the 8 per cent Oude Holleweg, 11km from the finish, whilst the final stage is mostly flat ahead of three laps of a 9km circuit - containing the kilometre long Apeldoornseweg climb.

Van Dijk is riding alongside British former world champion Lizzie Deignan, Abi van Twisk, Elisa Longo Borghini, Letizia Paternoster and Trixi Worrack.

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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.


When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.


Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.