Olympic cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was thrown violently from her her bicycle in the last stages of the women’s road race in a spectacularly horrible crash. She looked for a moment like she might not survive. The episode was captured on video that is rapidly going viral.
van Vleuten was in the lead and less than 10 kilometers from the finish when the crash occurred.
She had just pulled away from rival Mara Abbott and was heading down a slight grade. Conditions were slippery. van Vleuten began to take a descending left turn when her bike drifted wide.
It look like she attempted to apply the brakes. At that moment, the Olympic cyclist’s tires lost traction and the bike slipped sideways. The front wheel struck a high curb and van Vleuten was thrown violently over the handlebars.
She was knocked unconscious and could have been hurt seriously if she had not been wearing a helmet. She was out “for a considerable period of time,” Dutch Olympic cycling manager Johan Lammerts told USA TODAY.
She regained consciousness as she was being transported to a local hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.
Abbott took the lead after the crash, but she was overtaken and finished fourth.
Anna van der Breggen, a van Vleuten teammate, won the race. She was shaken an in tears by van Vleuten’s crash.
Check out the video below. Warning: The crash is disturbing.
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