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Stage winner Marlen Reusser out of the Tour with concussion

The Swiss rider finished the stage but will now leave the race.

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Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) won’t start stage 7 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift after suffering a concussion on stage 6.

Reusser, solo winner of stage 4, crashed with around 20 km remaining in Friday’s stage to Rosheim. She got back on her bike and finished the day 15 minutes behind stage winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) but a medical examination later revealed the extent of her injury.

“Marlen Reusser will not start in the 7th stage of @LeTourFemmes,” SD Worx said via social media. “A hospital examination revealed that she suffered a concussion after her crash. Rest is necessary to recover.”

In early 2021 the UCI introduced new protocols for dealing with concussion, encouraging non-health professionals within the race – including directors, mechanics, coaches, and riders themselves – to identify any relevant symptoms.

It was not clear whether anyone assessed Reusser’s condition before the 30-year-old got back on her bike, nor whether she had any identifiable concussion symptoms in that moment, but former SD Worx pro turned sports director Anna van der Breggen provided an update on the morning of stage 7.

“Marlen is doing ok,” Van der Breggen told media before the start in Sélestat. “She crashed hard yesterday on the head, so we’ve been in hospital last night and they checked it and she is back now in the hotel. She is going home just to make sure she’s ok with the concussion. It’s always difficult to see straight away how severe it is, but she’s feeling ok now and she’s going home today.”

Van der Breggen also shed a little light on the immediate aftermath of Reusser’s crash and the assessment she underwent post-stage.

“We saw her after the crash,” said Van der Breggen. “She got back on the bike ok, she could tell she was ok, but you could also tell that she crashed hard, so the medical doctor was there straight after the stage to check her, just to make sure. In precaution we went to the hospital and I think the only thing you can do is…it’s only a bike race and the health of the riders is more important, so it was not a difficult decision to say today: better to take rest and recover.”

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