Shirin van Anrooij’s cyclocross season has come to an early conclusion, following a decision by her team, Baloise Trek Lions, to prioritise her recovery from a rib injury. The 21-year-old rider has already missed recent races due to the injury, and the team is now taking no further risks to her health.
Van Anrooij’s season has been one to forget, having competed in only nine races this winter. Her last notable performance was a second-place finish at the Zilvermeercross in Mol at the end of December. However, subsequent races in Antwerp and particularly in Gavere did not go as planned, with Van Anrooij struggling with a rib injury.
After the race in Gavere, a visibly disappointed Van Anrooij expressed her frustration, saying, “My mind was willing, but my body was screaming no. I was so looking forward to the Christmas period and eager to show my good form, especially in one of my favourite races. But a severe fall on my ribs during a training session made it impossible.”
Despite battling the pain in Mol and Antwerp and delivering strong performances, the pain became too much to bear in Gavere. A hospital X-ray revealed a broken rib, leading to her decision, made in consultation with her team, to take a break from racing.
Hopes of a comeback this season have now been dashed. “With a broken and bruised rib, the risk of racing is simply too great,” stated Baloise Trek Lions on social media. This setback means Van Anrooij must relinquish her ambitions for the National and World Championships, marking an unfortunate end to her cyclocross season.
Main photo credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images