It would be hard not to remember Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash at the Olympic games in Rio if you watched it.
Within seconds of her fall, Twitter was ablaze with worry over the Dutch rider, who lost the wheels from beneath her on the final descent in search of victory.
When news broke that she was ‘ok’ but hugely disappointed at having lost her grip on a Gold medal, we were all mainly just pleased to hear she was ok. And sad that she was so heartbroken.
From her hospital bed, she told us: “I still have pain in my back, because of the three broken dorsal vertebrae. Back in Holland I will make a recovery plan with my doctors. At this moment it looks like the damage is not too bad. The concussion is a thing I need to take serious. Therefore, I now really need time for myself and I want only my closest friends and family with me. I also want to move on as quickly as possible and look forward to my next goals.”
As it would turn out, the recovery has gone very well. Today, van Vleuten bounced back and won the 4.4km prologue time trial at the Lotto Belgium Tour.
The reigning National Time Trial Champion covered the course at an eye watering average speed of 48.6 km/hour to finish in 5minutes 24 seconds.
Second was Thalita De Jong of Rabo Liv, 7 seconds behind, and 8 seconds back was Lisa Brennauer of Canyon//SRAM in third.
Twitter suggests that van Vleuten has been working on her aero position, and last minute tweaks have obviously had a positive impact. However, above all the win just shows that she’s lost very little form despite what must have been a horrendous few weeks.
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) September 5, 2016
The race consists of three more road stages – two are flat and one is rather hilly. We’re excited to see what else the Dutch rider has up her skinsuit sleeves!