A Female Cyclist Was Forced To Stop In The Middle Of A Race Because She Was Catching Up To The Men
We have all been there before; we are in the middle of something - a competition, an intense workout or run, or even just a very focused, getting-it-done day of housecleaning - when suddenly, something forces us to stop. Our focus is broken; that amazing momentum we had going on is lost; and we can never quite get back in the groove where we were. It sucks.
And it is exactly what happened to female cyclist Nicole Hanselmann while she was cycling in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race recently, according to the HuffPost, The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race is a very prestigious cycling race that takes place in Belgium and spans 75 miles of road.
Hanselmann, an accomplished cyclist and a former national road champion in Switzerland, decided to participate in the race, and as soon as the whistle blew, she took off like lightning.
She quickly took the lead, and before too long, she was about two minutes and 18 miles ahead of all the other female competitors. Her momentum was intense; she was in the zone, so you can only imagine her shock, surprise, and anger when she reached a level crossing and was forced by the race officials to stop.
When she asked why she was being made to stop in the middle of the race when she was doing so well, the answer she received was even more upsetting than the simple fact of being stopped. Hanselmann was told that she had to stop and wait because she was cycling so fast she was catching up to the men's race, which had started ten minutes before the women's.
They only held Hanselmann there for about five minutes, and they gave her a head start on the other women to compensate for her losing the significant lead she had accomplished, but the damage had been done. Hanselmann was incensed and insists that the forced stop ruined her momentum.
After the forced stop, she was unable to find that groove again, and she ended up placing 74th in the race.
Neutralisation of our women race at railroad crossing in Sint-Denijs-Boekel in #OHNWomen #ohn19 due to a very slow mens race. riders will restart with same timings— OmloopHetNieuwsblad (@OmloopHNB) March 2, 2019
While the race's organizers insist that Hanselmann was forced to stop only to keep the races separate and not because she was catching up to the men and making them look bad, people watching the race both in person and through its Twitter live-stream were furious and blamed the organizers for Hanselmann's loss.
"Maybe the other women and me were to fast or the men to slow," Hanselmann later posted on her Instagram.
Whatever the case, it is clear that the organizers need to schedule the races further apart in the future to avoid this kind of bad press again. Hanselmann is not too terribly broken up about it, though.
This is only the beginning of cycling season; she will have plenty of other opportunities to outshine the competition, no matter what gender they may be.
What do you think of this story? Should Hanselmann have been asked to stop? Let us know in the comments and pass this along to your friends and family to see what they think, too!