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XCO world champion Jolanda Neff injured in cyclocross crash

World Champion likely to miss first round of World Cup XCO at Stellenbosch, South Africa

Jolanda Neff : Hoogerheide

Reigning cross-country world champion Jolanda Neff will miss the opening round of XCO World Cup in 2018 after a crash at the Hoogerheide cyclocross World Cup in the Netherlands on Sunday. Neff (Kross Racing Team) was battling for the final podium position in a group of three with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-Sram Racing) and Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) when the crash occurred. Following an attack by Richards, Neff attempted to pass Ferrand-Prevot on the low side of a long, technical off-cambre section. As the racers lines were converging, Ferrand-Prevot momentarily lost her front wheel and slid down into Neff. Both riders then fell the remaining distance down to the bottom of the hill where they remained, visibly in pain until they were assisted off the course.

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…oh I felt so good yesterday. I had such great fun racing @gpadrievdpoel in Hoogerheide, loved the event. Current situation: left collarbone broken, right ellbow broken, but worst is the broken heart… it hurts so much that I will miss World Champs next weekend… can‘t even find the words… I felt so ready for this. Only good thing is that @paulineferrandprevot didn‘t get injured, I‘m so so glad. Hurting myself is one thing but I could never forgive myself to hurt someone else, so much respect for her and I just wish her to be fine. I‘m having operation on my collarbone now but will probably miss the first round of MTB World Cup in South Africa as well as the Cape Epic… I will be back at the startline at WC Albstadt with my rainbow stripes. Thank you so much for all the warm messages, means so much right now. My cx season is over here…. I will be back stronger next winter!!! Thanks for the photo @anton_vos thanks for the outstanding support @kross_racing_team @swisscyclingteam thanks to everyone who made me feel home in the cx world

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Ferrand-Prevot managed to escape without serious injury, and has since announced she will be able to race at Valkenburg cyclocross world championships this coming weekend. Neff was not so lucky, coming away with a broken elbow and collarbone from the incident. The young Swiss XCO world champion announced her injuries on social medial, adding that she was glad Ferrand-Prevot would be healthy enough to contest the upcoming worlds in the Netherlands. Neff’s injuries mean she is likely to miss the opening round of XCO World Cup racing at Stellenbosch, South Africa, as well as a planned appearance at ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike stage race. Stellenbosch was set to be Neff’s debut in her world championships stripes, which will now have to wait until World Cup Albstadt in May.

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With Neff and Ferrand-Prevot out of the race, Richards was left to ride the remaining two laps at Hoogerheide solo to claim third at the final cyclocross World Cup of the season. Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) made the most of her final appearance in the 2017 world champion jersey, winning the final race before before she must defend her title next weekend in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. Second place went to another XCO regular, Eva Lechner of the Clif Pro Team.

Neff and Ferrand-Prevot’s very heavy crash is included below: