Rio Olympics 2016: Women's Cycling Road Race Marred By Horrific Annemiek Van Vleuten Crash

Recovering Dutch cyclist tweets she is 'super disappointed after best race of my life'

Article originally published 07/08/2016: due to a technical issue this article may have resurfaced for some readers, and the original publish date may not have been visible.

The Dutch cyclist who crashed horrifically during the Olympic women’s road race has tweeted that she will be “fine” after her bid for gold ended dramatically.

Annemiek van Vleuten was leading the Rio race when she came off her bike during a downhill attack, a sickening fall that made fractured her lower spine and put her in intensive care.

Despite the fears of millions who watched the crash, she later took to social media to signal she was recovering.

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.

— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) August 8, 2016

The fall overshadowed a dramatic conclusion to the battle that was won by her Dutch team-mate Anna van der Breggen. It was unclear soon after the race how serious her condition was.

We have had word from the Dutch Cycling Federation that Annemiek van Vleuten is "okay"

We wish her all the best.

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 7, 2016

Further to this, she is "conscious and on her way to hospital"

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 7, 2016

It was later reported by Sky Sports News that van Vleuten had suffered three fractures in spine and was suffering heavy concussion, but remained in intensive care.

Update on Annemiek Van Vleuten: 3 fractures in her lumbar spine and heavy concussion. No internal bleeding and no further abnormalities.

— Orla Chennaoui (@SkyOrla) August 7, 2016

Van Vleuten had full CT scan and is in stable condition in intensive care. Fully conscious, reactions"adequate". Will stay there for 24 hrs.

— Orla Chennaoui (@SkyOrla) August 7, 2016

Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead, Britain’s first medallist of London 2012, finished fifth at Copacabana beach as van der Breggen won a dramatic gold.

Van Vleuten led with less than 11km to go, but crashed dramatically on the descent which also took Vincenzo Nibali down in the men’s race 24 hours earlier.

This is the Dutch cyclist involved in freak crash, Annemiek Van Vleuten. Thoughts and prayers her way.

— Chris Hassel (@hasselESPN) August 7, 2016

One-time Olympic champion Chris Boardman led the criticism of organisers - claiming not enough barriers were protecting the riders and arguing the race was not safe.

Reflecting on Annemiek van Vleuten's crash, Chris Boardman says the area road where it happened wasn't safe at all

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 7, 2016

Coverage footage provided by the Brazilian broadcaster, and fed by the BBC, did not return to the scene of the crash - leaving viewers concerned about her condition

Boardman said:

“It’s very hard to concentrate after a crash liked that. I’m angry about it. I saw the course and those edges were way past being technical.”

As the race ended, BBC commentator Simon Brotherton said:

“Like Chris, I’m very very concerned about the condition of Annemiek van Vleuten. We’ll bring you any news of Annemiek van Vleuten, who was leading the road race when she crashed on that descent, as soon as possible.”

Most watching in the UK were stunned

Very sombre mood at the finish of the women's road race after that crash. The result doesn't seem to matter much now.

— Mark Pougatch (@markpougatch) August 7, 2016

Still no update on Van Vleuten - this descent was terrible for the men yesterday and it's now raining, I do hope she's ok.

— Natalie Pirks (@Natpirks) August 7, 2016

That was horrible. This course is so dangerous. Hope she is ok #RoadRace

— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) August 7, 2016

As were many professional cyclists

Thoughts with @AvVleuten 🙏 very scary crash. #Rio2016

— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) August 7, 2016

Exciting finish!! Congrats to @AnnavdBreggen! Hopefully @AvVleuten will be okay!!! #TeamNL

— Steven Kruijswijk (@s_kruijswijk) August 7, 2016



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