Marianne Vos calls for more awareness and safety in the peloton

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Reflecting on her scary crash at Dwars door de Westhoek a few weeks ago, Vos today put out a call to safety on her blog, asking cyclists to remember their vulnerability and look out for one another.

“Crashing is part of the cycling sport. But you shouldn’t underestimate the impact,” she penned. “Cyclists are vulnerable and together we are responsible for our safety.”

It’s been a bad spring for crashes. There were two fatalities in the men’s peloton and the some high profile crashes in the women’s peloton, too, resulting in Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) losing a kidney and Kathryn Bertine (Cylance Pro Cycling) sustaining traumatic brain injury.

While Vos was able to walk away from her crash, she underestimated its impact, Vos says.

“By now everyone has seen the images of my crash in Dwars door de Westhoel. It was clumsy and completely my own fault. Luckily the damage was limited to bruising and muscle contusions. Still, I underestimated the impact of the crash. As a cyclist, you always want to keep going but my body really needed to recover after 50kph crash on Belgian cobbles,” she acknowledged.

Still, Vos stubbornly traveled with her team to Elsy Jacobs just days after her crash. And while she put down an impressive performance in the prologue, coming in second to former teammate Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS), she admits that it may not have been the right thing to do to her bruised body.

Vos is concerned about the safety in the peloton, claiming that riders are looking out for each other less now than before.

“Crashing is part of cycling and everyone experiences it. That’s exactly why safety in the race is so important. As cyclists it’s something we have to be conscious about. It’s something I worry about as it seems like cyclists are warning one another less,” she says.

“Along the course there are many obstacles — speedbumps, parked cars, curbs. The first riders in the group will see the obstacles but if you’re behind them, you’re dependent on those ahead of you,” Vos continues. “Warning your fellow riders ahead of time prevents a lot of trouble and it’s only a small ask.”

“We are vulnerable on our thin tyres and lycra on the bike. Risks are part of the sport, but it would be good if, with proper regulation from UCI and a mutual understanding in the peloton, we could limit those risks.”

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