Just a few hours before the start of the second Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, Jumbo-Visma announced that their team leader Marianne Vos was tested positive for COVID-19 in her daily self-test. Vos finished second in the first Paris-Roubaix Femmes behind Trek-Segafredo’s Lizzie Deignan, and one of her main goals for the new season was to finish a better one. Before he tested positive, Vos’ odds favorite was to win in the second edition of the Monument.
“The disappointment is huge,” Vos said. “I was looking forward to this race. When I tested positive this morning, the world collapsed. But I support the team’s policy. I should not take any risk with my health. I go home, I rest, and I hope I continue to feel good. ”
To be fully prepared for Saturday, Vos even sat out in the Amstel Gold Race a week before Paris-Roubaix, a race she won in 2021. Her absence from Saturday’s race puts Jumbo-Visma in an interesting spot, but the rest of the team will be able to start. Fortunately, their new signature Coryn Labecki showed promising form at midweek Brabantse Pijl and expressed interest in starting the Paris-Roubaix Femmes with an open mind.
“Marianne was number two last year and we will do better than that, leaving us with only the win,” Labecki said in the week leading up to the race. “We are in a situation where it is realistic. We have a good team to run for victory.”
The plan for the Dutch team in Paris-Roubaix Femmes was open even before Vos became a non-starter, but as the current world champion in cyclocross, all eyes were on Vos.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s me, Marianne or Romy who goes into the velodrome to win, as long as we’re in a good position to do it, we can,” Labecki said. “That’s our main goal. It’s a bit of an open plan.”
Since this is only the second edition of the Cobbled Classic, there are still a lot of unknowns prior to the start of the race. Without Vos, attention will turn even more towards SD Worx, which has quite a few potential winners on their list. There is no denying that the loss of Vos from the race is a significant loss.