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A Cyclist Suffered A Horrific Crash In The Women’s Road Race

Dutch woman Annemiek van Vleuten had been leading the race when she lost control on a curve and was thrown into the air. (Note: Some media in this post cannot be seen outside of the US).

Last updated on August 7, 2016, at 10:09 p.m. ET

Posted on August 7, 2016, at 5:08 p.m. ET

Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands was a favorite to take the gold in the women’s cycling road race Sunday when she crashed severely.

Bryn Lennon / AP

The 33-year-old was the lone rider in the lead at kilometer 116 when she went into a curve and lost control.


As the road began to descend toward the finish line, rain was reported.

The final kilometers presented a fast and technically challenging descent for riders. Van Vleuten was about 10 kilometers from the finish line — and a gold medal — when her bike began to skid.

The crash sent her and her bike airborne; race officials immediately responded as she was unable to continue.


American Mara Abbott passed through the same curve as van Vleuten remained on the ground.


The crash was shocking both to other riders and to spectators at the finish line.

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

Ultimately, the Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen took the gold, Sweden’s Emma Johansson won silver, and Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini took the bronze medal.

Van der Breggen said in a statement to Dutch officials that it was difficult to keep her head in the game after seeing her teammate on the ground. But she pushed on, taking victory in an upset in the race's final moments as Abbott was overtaken.

Van Vleuten was taken to a hospital while conscious, the Royal Dutch Cycling Federation said. Officials added she was able to communicate with doctors and is expected to be OK.

Van Vleuten bij bewustzijn vervoerd naar het ziekenhuis voor verder onderzoek. KNWU dokter is bij haar.

She was expected to remain in a hospital intensive care unit for 24 hours, Reuters reported. In addition to a severe concussion, she suffered three small fracture particles in her lumbar spine.

She later tweeted from the hospital that she would be fine. "Most of all super disappointed after best race of my career," she said.

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.

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