For a moment, it looked as though the women’s road race at the Rio Olympics was going to end in tragedy.
Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten had the lead with just six miles to go Sunday when she came flying down a curve in the final descent. But a horrible crash stopped van Vleuten from crossing the finish line when she tumbled over the handlebars as her bike skidded on the slippery track.
As scary as that moment was, van Vleuten actually was very lucky in the end. The Dutch Olympic Committee said the 33-year-old had “three small fractures in her spine, a heavy concussion and she has to stay on the intensive care overnight,” per The Independent, but none of those injuries were life-threatening and she otherwise was OK.
Van Vleuten even sent some tweets about her condition.
Fellow Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen ended up with the gold medal, but the whole ordeal drew some criticism about the course from those in the sport. Men’s road race favorite Vincenzo Nibali broke both of his collarbones in an accident in the same area Saturday, prompting a warning that cyclists be conservative in the final stretch.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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