Cycling: I'll be fine, says Van Vleuten after horror smash

Mon Aug 8, 2016 2:20am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Annemiek van Vleuten suffered three fractured vertebrae and a concussion after a horrifying high-speed crash in the Olympic women's road race on Sunday but the Dutch rider said she will be fine and was more disappointed at missing out on a medal.

Television pictures showed Van Vleuten slamming into the road and a stone kerb after losing control of her bike when leading on the final descent toward Copacabana beach with around 15km of the race remaining.

She was taken to hospital and put in intensive care, with some who saw the accident fearing the 33-year-old may have suffered more severe injuries.

"I am now in the hospital with some injuries and fractures, but will be fine," Van Vleuten said on Twitter.

"Most of all super disappointed after best race of my career."

Other riders were quick to offer their support.

Australian Gracie Elvin, who also rides for the Orica team along with Van Vleuten, said she could have been killed.

"I'm still concerned right now but from what we've heard she's ok," Elvin said on Twitter.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling Road - Final - Women's Road Race - Fort Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) of Netherlands competes. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard