There was no query that stage 2 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift was an extremely powerful one for FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope, shedding highly effective Italian Marta Cavalli to an terrible crash whereas GC hope Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig misplaced time attributable to one other incident. Nonetheless the French group is way from able to abandon its excessive hopes for the race.
“The Ladies’s Tour de France is way from misplaced for FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope, however today reminds us how harmful our sport will be,” mentioned the group in an announcement put out late Monday. “We are going to battle relentlessly on all the subsequent phases of this Tour to play a number one position within the common classification. We are going to battle for Marta.”
Cavalli was a precious asset within the group’s pursuit of yellow, opening up the potential of a strong two-pronged assault alongside Uttrup-Ludwig to attempt to counter the energy of race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), who Cavalli got here second to on the Giro d’Italia Donne.
The Italian rider, nonetheless, was compelled to desert the race on stage 2 after being hit exhausting from behind amid the chaos of a crash. The group mentioned preliminary examinations confirmed that Cavalli suffered a head and decrease physique trauma and an extra examination at hospital had not indicated any additional accidents or fractures.
Cavalli was removed from the one FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope rider to come back off on Tuesday, with Grace Brown and Utrrup Ludwig additionally hitting the deck in an incident shortly afterwards whereas Evita Muzic got here down nearer to the road. Cavalli’s teammates may all proceed on.
‘There aren’t any critical accidents to declare concerning Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Evita Muzic and Grace Brown,” mentioned the group.
Nevertheless, the crash involving Uttrup Ludwig and Brown at 22km to go within the 136km stage to Provins took one other kind of toll.
Uttrup Ludwig and three teammates – Grace Brown, Vittoria Guazzini and Marie Le Internet – had been nonetheless making an attempt to rejoin the peloton after the crash when extra stress was placed on the already powerful tempo when Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) took benefit of a second of hesitation after the intermediate dash to assault at round 20km to go. The world champion dragged away a small group together with her teammate, Elisa Longo Borghini in addition to quickly to be stage winner and general chief Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma).
“That was a tough day within the workplace for certain,” mentioned Brown in an interview with Australian broadcaster SBS (opens in new tab). “Nearly the entire group had been concerned in that crash at about 20km to go and we needed to wait up and attempt to assist Cecilie again to the peloton, however with the crosswinds and all the pieces it was virtually an inconceivable job, so she completed a bit down in the present day.”
Uttrup Ludwig came visiting the road 1:38 behind Vos, placing her 1:54 again on the race chief and 1:42 behind the best-placed of the general contenders, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
“There are mountains to come back so hopefully we are able to make up on that,“ added Brown.