“The riders couldn’t be moved until the ambulances came”

Posted on: September 10th, 2016

 

An Post Rás na mBan race director Valerie Considine said the doctor on the race decided crashed riders could not be moved from the criterium course until the ambulances arrive. Race leader Rikke Lonne, above, said she narrowly avoided the large pile-up (Photo: Shane Stokes)

 

By Shane Stokes

Showing that a race isn’t over until the final stage, no matter what the advantage is over rivals, ongoing An Post Rás na mBan race leader Rikke Lonne has said that she was right beside to the mass pileup which brought down over a dozen riders in Saturday evening’s criterium event.

The crash happened with a lap and a half to go in the Kilkenny circuit race and caused one rider to suffer a fractured collarbone.

Others also ended up going to hospital afterwards for checkups, although fortunately it appears that things weren’t as bad as they might have been.

“We did the race very fast and everybody was actually doing very good, but all of a sudden there was a big crash just next to me,” she told stickybottle after receiving another leader’s pink jersey.

“People were lying on the ground with their bikes. I have no idea how many, but it sounded bad and it looked back when we came around.

“There were two or three girls still lying down at that point. Then the race got neutralised.”

 

The crash on the penultimate lap brought to an unfortunate end an otherwise great stage, though thankfully there were no serious injuries (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)

 

Commissaires stopped the event in order to avoid further issues. That was initially expected to be a short pause in the action, but eventually a call was made to neutralise the racing.

Race director Valerie Considine explained the thinking behind that.

“There were riders on the road. They were blocking the road,” she said. “The doctor made the call that they couldn’t be moved until the ambulances came.

“We had a road closure [in Kilkenny] and it was getting too late to continue with the race. So the call was made to just neutralise it to the finish.

“At least the riders came into the line. It was a ceremonial finish rather than a sprint finish.”

Lonne had started the stage three minutes and 15 seconds ahead of her closest rival, Irish national road race champion Lydia Boylan (Team WNT).

She has just Sunday’s final stage to negotiate and said that while she is not presuming anything, her confidence is growing.

“Everything can still go wrong, but it looks good right now. It does.”

Lonne was the 2015 Danish national time trial champion and finished a solid 19th last month in the 2.1-ranked Ladies’ Tour of Norway. She explained her background and talked about her impression of racing in Ireland.

“I am based in Denmark…Copenhagen, normally,” the 28 year old said. “I have done some UCI races in the last three years, as well as national championships. I just won the Swedish Cup last weekend, actually.

“This race has been really fun. People have been really cheering and really standing up for the racers. It has been hard but fun.”

Asked about her plans for the future and if moving to a bigger team was a priority, she was non-specific. “I don’t know… as long as I have fun, I am going to ride my bike,” she said.

“I have a job as well. I just have to have fun, that is it.”

 

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