Monday, August 8, 2016

Dutch cyclist in intensive care after fracturing her back in gruesome crash 6 miles from winning gold medal

Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten had a comfortable lead in the women's Olympic road race just six miles shy of the finish line when she suffered an awful crash on a steep, slippery descent. She went head-over-handlebars and appeared to land headfirst on the road's curb.
After the race, the Dutch cycling federation announced the she had fractured her back in three places, and suffered a concussion from the crash. She will spend the night in intensive care.

The conditions on the road were bad during the women's race, just as they were the day prior for the men's road race, which also featured an important crash among the lead group on the final descent.
But Van Vleuten's crash was worse, both because she was all alone and because the crash itself was far more serious.
It had started to rain in Rio during the final descent in Sunday's women's road race. Van Vleuten flew down the mountain and into a comfortable lead, but as she made a turn, her back wheel gave out.
Van Vleuten started to brake going around one of several steep curves:
Olympic Road Race Crash 1
But the back wheel went up into the air:
Olympic Road Race Crash 2
She went over her handlebars and landed headfirst, and on her back:
Olympic Road Race Bike Crash
Just awful:
Olympic Road Race Crash 4
A Dutch teammate went on to take gold, but it's heartbreaking to be that close to the finish line - and a possible gold medal - only to crash out in such tragic fashion.
Here is the full video: