The Dutch phenomenon crashed hard off a cliff at the Wollongong Road World Championships on Wednesday. The accident broke her elbow and nearly broke the internet.
Watching Annemiek Van Vleuten go down the cliff in a bike race usually means one thing: you’ll see her push the lead at the end. But at the moment the mixed team of the trial relay in Road World ChampionshipsQuite another thing happened.
Footage from the opening seconds of the race in Wollongong, Australia shows Van Vleuten sprinting out of the gate, then hit! It’s at the bottom.
Watching the footage over and over (over and over again, as a lot of bike chiefs have done today), it’s hard to tell what went wrong. She wasn’t riding in a very tight package, she didn’t seem to run over anything, and no random airborne object seemed to hit her.
Van Vleuten received treatment on site, and later landed in the hospital with a broken elbow. Her team says it’s still within the realm of possibility that she’ll race tomorrow.
“Annemiek is allowed to spin with this stable fracture, but the question of course is how much the pain will be. We’ll see that in the coming days. Hopefully Annemiek can still start, but that has to be justified,” Dutch coach Loes Gunnewijk road.cc . saidNoting that the team doctor will consult on the final decision.
what happened? This is still anyone’s guess.
The a hero She herself tweeted that she didn’t know why, but knowing what it was “won’t help or change my situation.”
I don’t know what happened but it looks like the tire exploded after I hit the side of the road. So this was not the problem. Something caused an imbalance, but what caused it: It won’t help or change my situation. Now in the hospital. 🤞🤞 https://t.co/ApGAY4YITt
– Anime Van Vleuten (AvVleuten) September 21 2022
The internet raged with speculation: gear or brake lockup (see Twitter thread), rear track failure, chain drop, or actuator error in Van Vleuten’s place simply lost control.
Whatever the case, we still won’t count the Dutch breaker in Saturday’s women’s road race. It’s not the first time you’ve drowned in a pile. And this time, her injuries seem to give her a much better chance of coming back swinging.