So my plan for the day was to come home, eat supper, write a post about how to watch the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe World Cup live on Saturday 14th March, and then finish transcribing my interview with last year’s Drentse Acht winner Chantal Blaak. And of course I wanted to find out what happened in the Drentse 8 today… and then kubrabenelli showed me the video of the sprint, and I just can’t…
You can also see it here, on RTV Drenthe’s website. A break of 8 had got away, they were powering into the final sprint, and then, at 50m to go, a spectator reaches out and brings down Loren Rowney. It would be shocking if it was a pure accident, but it is really worrying, because as pretty much everyone has pointed out on twitter, he’s facing Loren, and it almost looks like he’s grabbing for her handlebars. I can’t quite believe Loren got away with “only” a broken collarbone because crashing at that speed is so, so dangerous.
The Ronde van Drenthe organisers are rightly shocked, and rightly starting to investigate. There’s nothing they could have done, no one expects this kind of thing at a race. Massive good healing vibes for Loren, I’m gutted for her – and also for Giorgia Bronzini, the winner, and Vale Scandolara and Annemiek van Vleuten, who rounded out the podium, who had their superb racing overshadowed by some total arsehole. If it’s not deliberate, it’s unutterably stupid. I always have a phobia at races that I’d hurt a rider, so how someone can be so careless is so strange to me. It’s so depressing that this is what will be remembered about this exciting race.
If you want to know how to watch the World Cup live, it’ll be streamed on RTV Drenthe from 13:15 Euro CET (12:15 UK GMT; 7:15am N American Eastern EST; 11:15pm Aussie AEDT) – here’s their pop-up streaming window. There’s tons more information on the race site, and a preview on Velofocus.
I’ll put up a proper post tomorrow Here’s my post on how to watch live, and make sure you’re following the Ronde van Drenthe’s twitter account. Here’s hoping everything else goes as smoothly as possible.
UPDATE! Kubra Benelli sent me another video from a different angle, and if anything it looks even more intentional from here
UPDATE! And while that was very depressing, to see what the Drenthe races are really about, check out the 9:36 min highlights video – bloody hell, what a breakaway group! Love that it seems like Vale Scandolara was trying to attack from the group!
UPDATE! The incomparable Ina-Yoko Teutenberg has things to say about this, on RTV Drenthe (English) – thanks, Bobby, for the find!
MORE UPDATES! More RTV Drenthe videos, with Velocio-SRAM DS Ronny Lauke, and one about the investigation, and Loren talks about the crash from her perspective on Cycling Tips Ella. And good news: