When Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team take to the start of the Elsy Jacobs Festival in Luxembourg this weekend, Romy Kasper will be missing from the start line. The 27-year-old was involved in a crash at Omloop van Borsele last weekend in which she sustained an acromioclavicular separation that has left her sidelined ahead of her planned season break in early May.
“We were with only 15 riders left in the peloton when one of the ORICA-AIS girls in front of me crashed,” explained Kasper. “I don’t know how it happened, but I didn’t have any possibility to avoid crashing myself. I went straight over the handlebars and landed on my shoulder.”
At Omloop van Borsele last year, Kasper had crashed and sustained a broken collarbone.
“Of course, my first thought was ‘please not again’ but after a few minutes, I got back on my bike and finished the lap,” Kasper said.
When she reached the finish line, for the start of the penultimate lap on the local circuit, Kasper pulled the plug. The pain was too great to continue.
“Because I got back on my bike, I had already a good feeling about my collarbone still being in on piece, but I knew there was something damaged because of the pain,” noted Kasper. “I was just hoping that it’s not too bad.”
Luckily, as far as injuries and ramifications go, all signs currently point to “not too bad”. Kasper headed to the hospital following the race. X-rays confirmed that her collarbone had been spared.
“I was lucky that the plate from last year is still in,” she said. “If not, it would have been broken.”
“You also could see that there was something wrong with the acromoclavicular joint,” she added. “I have an MRI today to find out which of the ligaments are damaged.”
Four days out from her crash, Kasper knows that she will not need surgery. Her rest week, scheduled for the week following the Elsy Jacobs Festival, has been moved forward by one week.
“I’m resting and avoiding using the injured arm and shoulder,” Kasper explained. “I start on the rollers next week and will soon be able to ride on the road again. I will need to build up some muscles to stabilise my shoulder. Kinesio tape will also help with that.”
“Right now it looks like the only change is moving the rest week one week earlier,” Kasper added. “I hope everything else can stay the same. We’ll see how the pain is over the next few days.”
Kasper has played an integral role in Boels-Dolmans’ incredibly successful spring. She finished second overall at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, supported teammates to the top step of the podium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe, Gent-Wevelgem and two stages plus the overall at Energiewacht Tour, including the first team time trial victory in Boels-Dolmans history.
“It’s been a huge spring,” said Kasper. “I loved being part of the team and was really happy with our results and especially how the team rides truly as a team. I hope we can continue like this. If we can, it will be a a great, great season.”