Lizzie Deignan breaks arm, Marlen Reusser breaks jaw in nasty Tour of Flanders crash

The two star riders will miss Paris-Roubaix Femmes next week

Clock19:48, Sunday 31st March 2024
Lizzie Deignan before the start of the Tour of Flanders

© Getty Images

Lizzie Deignan before the start of the Tour of Flanders

While Lidl-Trek came away from the Tour of Flanders with a spectacular win from Elisa Longo Borghini, it wasn’t all smiles for the team as Lizzie Deignan broke her arm in a crash that also saw Marlen Reusser (SD Worx-Protime) leave the race with a broken jaw.

Deignan is likely to miss the remainder of the Classics season, which will be a blow for Lidl-Trek as they hope to recreate their Flanders success at Paris-Roubaix. Deignan was the first winner of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes in 2021 and was targeting the Ardennes Classics in mid-April.

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The outlook for Lidl-Trek at Paris-Roubaix at first looked diminished with Deignan’s absence, as Elisa Longo Borghini was also set to miss the race to focus on the Ardennes Classics. Now that Deignan, an obvious favourite for Roubaix, is out of the running, it seems as if Longo Borghini might be back on the startlist next Sunday to try and recreate her Roubaix victory from 2022.

For SD Worx-Protime, losing Reusser was a significant blow to their effort in Flanders as the Dutch team were lacking their usual numerical advantage in the final. Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering and Lorena Wiebes struggled to match the attacks of an elite leading group throughout the final 50km.

“Marlen Reusser had to leave the Tour of Flanders after a serious crash,” SD Worx-Protime said in a statement after the race.

“On examination in hospital, it was discovered that the 32-year-old Swiss rider had suffered a fracture to her right jawbone and her teeth were also damaged. She is on the way to Switzerland and will have further tests tomorrow in the hospital in Bern. Updates will follow in due course.”

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Due to the severity of the injuries, Reusser will miss next week’s Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which will dampen the hopes of the Dutch team as they look to win the race for the first time in the race’s three-year history.

Reusser, who is one of the most reliable domestiques in the women’s peloton when she is not riding for her own result, would have been a huge boon to the prospects of Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes, as her prowess in time trials translates well to the flat cobblestones of Roubaix.

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