Van Agt on eve of return to peloton
Eva van Agt will make her comeback at the Tour de Romandie next weekend. The Dutch rider is part of the six-rider Team Jumbo-Visma Women squad participating in the Swiss stage race from Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 September.
"I'm feeling good again”, a relieved Van Agt says. "I am happy to be back on the road next weekend. I have been looking forward to this moment. I can't wait to race with the girls again.”
The thoughts go back to that Monday afternoon in July. Van Agt was leading the second stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift with two other riders. The 26-year-old rider was well placed to win the stage in Mauriac when TV footage suddenly showed her lying motionless under a crash barrier. "That was a bit of a shock. Luckily, the damage didn't seem too bad, but the rehabilitation took some time”, Van Agt says.
She was back on her bike soon after the crash, but a few setbacks in her recovery prevented her from returning to the peloton. "It turned out that I had sustained a concussion from the crash. It took me a while to recover from it. It took me a few steps back on the road to a comeback. I have been back to full training for a few weeks, so I am ready to race again.”
"I missed being on the road with the ladies"
And that's exactly what Van Agt will be doing in Switzerland, where teammates Fem van Empel, Amber Kraak, Kim Cadzow, Rosita Reijnhout and Teuntje Beekhuis will join her in the women's Tour de Romandie. "Racing in Switzerland is always something special. The scenery is beautiful, and there is usually no stress. Besides, I missed being on the road with the ladies.”
Van Agt talks about the course and the ambitions of Team Jumbo-Visma. "On day one and day three, there are some obstacles along the way, but the expectation is that a reduced group will sprint for the stage wins on both days. Day two is for the classification. It will be gruelling. We want Amber and Fem to do well in the GC, but Kim also wants to prove herself”, Van Agt says.
"As far as my ambitions are concerned, I don't have too many illusions”, the rider says. "I won't be in top form, but that's logical. The fact that I can be part of the team again and contribute to the result is more than enough for me.”
As she is in her first year in the service of Team Jumbo-Visma Women, the former hockey star looks both back and ahead. "I certainly don't regret my move. Everything about this team is first class. You can see and feel the professionalism in every detail. I couldn't have asked for a better environment. Hopefully, we will have many great moments at the upcoming Tour de Romandie and in the last part of the season.”