FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope and Movistar have withdrawn from this weekend’s Ronde van Drenthe, the final event of the 2021 UCI Women’s WorldTour. Both teams have cited a shortage of riders following a series of injuries in recent weeks.
Movistar’s injury list includes WorldTour leader Annemiek van Vleuten, who fractured her shoulder and pelvis in two places during the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes.
“Due to multiple injuries and setbacks, the women’s Movistar Team will not be able to compete in this weekend’s Dutch races in Drenthe,” Movistar said in a statement confirming the end of their 2021 season, adding on social media.
“Thanks to the Ronde v Drenthe’s organizers for their understanding, in a late-season full of misfortune for our Blues. See you next year!”
The message was echoed on Thursday morning by FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, who confirmed on Twitter that they would also miss the Ronde van Drenthe.
“We have to end our season prematurely due to the many injuries in the team in recent weeks. Thank you @RondevDrenthe for your understanding, and we wish you a good race and see you in 2022!”
Ronde van Drenthe takes place on Saturday, having been postponed from its original March date due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Dutch race was cancelled completely in 2020. It was last held in 2019, when Marta Bastianelli won ahead of Chantal Blaak and Ellen van Dijk.
The race is preceded by Friday’s 1.2 Drentse Acht van Westerveld, where FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope and Movistar will also be absent. The three days of racing in the Netherlands concludes on Sunday with the elite men’s Albert Achterhes Profronde van Drenthe, the final race of the men’s European season.
We have to end our season prematurely due to the many injuries in the team in recent weeks.Thank you @RondevDrenthe for your understanding, and we wish you a good race and see you in 2022 ! pic.twitter.com/jw98DGsCLxOctober 21, 2021