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Road Cycling

Dutch Cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten Hospitalised After Crash in Olympic Road Race

Brutal video shows the moment the leader of the road race crashed out...

Dutch road cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten is to spend 24 hours under observation in intensive care after a brutal crash in the Olympic road race on Sunday, on a course heavily criticised for being overly dangerous.

The incident occurred while van Vleuten was leading the road race, which would eventually be won by favourite and fellow Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen.

Val Vleuten was thrown over her handlebars on the final descent from Vista Chinesa, landing headfirst and sustaining three small fractures to spinal bones and a hefty concussion, according to a Dutch Olympic Committee official.

The UCI, the governing body of cycling, later states that van Vleuten “continues to be under examination”, but has “no serious medical problem,” being “conscious and [able to] communicate”.

Annemiek later spoke out herself, posting to social media to say: “I am now in the hospital with some injuries and fractures but will be fine. Most of all super disappointed after best race of my career.”

The crash came just one day after Italian road riding favourite Vincenzo Nibali had broken his collarbone in the men’s race, and Chris Boardman, the former British Olympic gold medallist in Rio for the event, was scathing in his criticism of the course.

“I am angry about it,” he said. “I went down and had a look at the course and saw those edges. We knew it was way past being technical; it was dangerous. The people who designed the course and said what safety features were needed had seen it was well and left it.

“We knew the descent was treacherous. I looked at that road furniture and thought; nobody can crash here and just get up. It is really bad and that is what we have seen today.”

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