PICTURES prove there is a deep pothole on a Didcot road where a champion cyclist crashed – despite organisers saying the crash was nothing to do with road conditions.

Race leader and former world champion Marianne Vos abandoned her OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2019 campaign on Wednesday after she and five other riders came off their bikes on Hadden Hill, Didcot.

She told Cycling Weekly she fell from her bike because of 'a hole in the way' she could not avoid.

On Thursday, race organisers Sweetspot denied that she had ridden into a pothole, contrary to her claim that she had crashed into a ‘dent in the road’.

This was the dramatic moment a rider crashed, taking several others down with her.

Oxford Mail:

Photos taken yesterday clearly show two deep craters in the road where Ms Vos had crashed.

Sweetpot claimed on Thursday that Ms Vos had caused a ‘racing incident’ and that it had not been ‘in any way caused by road conditions’.

The council referred to the statement it released on Sweetspot’s behalf on Thursday. It said it was ‘impossible to say’ what caused the crash.

It added: “There was a further final inspection yesterday, before the race, involving us and the council. Our own inspector goes out 45 minutes ahead of the race and they were happy.”

This is what the Oxford Mail found when we went to the road in Didcot today.

Oxford Mail:

Road campaigner Mark Morrell, also known as Mr Pothole, said Sweetspot and Oxfordshire County Council inspectors who had failed to note and fix the faults before the race ‘needed to go to Specsavers’.

READ AGAIN: Riders forced out of OVO cycling race after crash near Didcot

In documents, the council said it would spend a ‘maximum’ of £10,000 in repairs on the roads, which Mr Morrell said was insufficient.

When asked whether it looked as if work had been done on the road ahead of the race, Mr Morrell said: “It doesn’t look like it. Whoever did it needs to go to Specsavers. I would give them a free voucher.

“It could have been catastrophic. With an examination of the road surface, it looks like there has been a previous repair.”

This is the exact location where the crash took place, just before the entrance to Hadden Hill Golf Club.

Mr Morrell added: “There’s cracking coming off that so that’s been done obviously well before any race.”

All of Oxfordshire’s six councils contributed about £30,000 to this year’s race.

They have already agreed to fund other stages of the Women’s Tour in the county in 2020 and 2021.

Sweetspot could not be contacted this afternoon.