Annemiek van Vleuten wins women’s road race gold at World Championships despite broken elbow


In a race made chaotic by rain, Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands claimed glory in a thrilling women’s road race at the World Road Championships in Australia on Saturday.

What made the 39-year-old’s gold medal all the more remarkable was that she entered the 164.3km race with a broken elbow after falling in the mixed relay on Wednesday .

Van Vleuten, the Olympic time trial champion, was the favorite before her injury as she had already won the first Women’s Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia Donne and the Ceratzit Challenge by La Vuelta this season.

She hadn’t played for much of the race, which ended in Wollongong, but riding through the pain she came from behind and took the lead in the final 500m to win the rainbow jersey. sky for the second time in his illustrious career. Belgian Lotte Kopecky won silver, while Italian Silvia Persico took bronze.

“I knew I couldn’t sprint because of my elbow so I knew I had to attack from behind, that was the one, only, only chance I had,” the Movistar rider told reporters.

“I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the sprinters to come but they couldn’t catch me.

” It was hell. I couldn’t get out of the saddle because of my elbow and my legs were exploding on the climbs. Normally I really like to get out of the saddle and attack.

“I had such a different plan before I broke my elbow and now I win it in the last mile and I’m world champion.”


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