It would be hard not to remember Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash at the Olympic Games in Rio. Within seconds of her fall, Twitter was ablaze with worry over the Dutch rider, who lost the wheels from beneath her on the final descent in search of victory.
The Dutch woman was leading the race solo coming down the final climb when she got her line wrong into a sweeping bend in the slippy surface and went down hard while riding flat out.
The concrete kerbing along the side of the road didn’t help her as she slammed into it and was left motionless on the roadside, all captured live in TV as the worldwide audience looked on.
However, while she suffered three cracked vertebrae along with cuts and bruises to her face and an ample dose of road rash, she’s back on her bike and has even been racing.
As it would turn out, the recovery has gone very well. Today, van Vleuten bounced back and won the 4.4km prologue time trial at the Lotto Belgium Tour.
The reigning National Time Trial Champion covered the course at an eye watering average speed of 48.6 km/hour to finish in 5minutes 24 seconds. Second was Thalita De Jong of Rabo Liv, 7 seconds behind, and 8 seconds back was Lisa Brennauer of Canyon/SRAM in third.
Twitter suggests that van Vleuten has been working on her aero position, and last minute tweaks have obviously had a positive impact. However, above all the win just shows that she’s lost very little form despite what must have been a horrendous few weeks.
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Annemiek van Vleuten crash olympic games RIO 2016