Dutch rider Marianne Vos took over the yellow jersey in the women’s Tour de France, winning a three-way race to take second place from Meaux to Provence on Tuesday (AEST).
Jumbo Visma Voss’ Silvia Persico and Katarzyna Niwiadoma won the jersey to finish sixth, 29 seconds behind compatriot Lorena Wiebes.
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“It’s not revenge, it’s an absolutely fantastic day,” said Voss, who finished second to Wiebbes in Sunday’s opening stage on the Champs-Élysées.
Paris-Roubaix winner and French yellow jersey challenger Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo finished fourth, two seconds behind.
Italian compatriot Marta Cavalli, winner of the Amstel Gold and Fletcher-Walloon this year and the overall title winner here, was not so lucky.
The 24-year-old was eventually taken to hospital after suffering head injuries in three devastating crashes over a 30-kilometre stretch, where winds and gusts of up to 45km/h sent riders jumping and spending their break. Peloton
“We don’t have much news from Marta, she is suffering from a head injury,” team manager Stephen Delcourt said when they arrived at Provins.
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“We continue to be in contact with the doctor. He has been sent to the hospital for a CT scan as a priority.
The FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope rider was already on the ground when she was hit by Australian champion Nicole Frye, who came flying without braking.
Cavali, who came second in this year’s Giro d’Italia, got back on her bike but the team took her off and sent her to the hospital, but she failed to finish the stage.
“She got a big shock. We didn’t want to take any risks,” Delcourt said.
“She wanted to continue but the team said no. We don’t want to play with the lives of our runners.
“We are very worried. You have seen the most spectacular failure and how dangerous our sport is. Of course we have to be careful. I am very concerned about the safety of our riders,” he said.
It was a bad day for FDJ when Danish rider Cecily Utrup Ludwig suffered another crash and lost more than a minute to Voss, Longo Borghini and Nieuwedoma.
In addition to Cavalli, another Italian Gaia Massetti has also given up, as has Germany’s Laura Susemilch, who is undergoing hospital checks for a possible fracture, her Planteur-Pura team said.
French rider Maeva Scuba finished the stage but was “unable to walk” when she arrived, according to her team Stade Rochelais, and “took an X-ray”.
Voss, 35, known for cycling with three world road championships and Olympic track gold among her many honours, has a keen sense of business in this yellow jersey.
In the year She won the 2014 Champs-Élysées in the first edition of La Corse, which she helped launch on the final day of the men’s Tour de France.
As a child, she pressured her parents to take her to watch the tour.
“We were going to the Alpe d’Huez, to the end of the sprint, to Pau,” she said at the start of Meaux on Monday.
“That’s how we spent our summer vacations, driving the course in our camper van.”
Voss now leads the general classification with a 10-second lead over Valcar rider Persico, two seconds behind Canyon-SRAM’s Niwiadoma.
Tuesday’s stage three, a 133.6km ride through the Champagne region from Reims to Epernay, should suit the rookies. The tournament ends in Paris on Sunday.