Annemiek van Vleuten wins UCI World Championship race in Wollongong with a BROKEN ELBOW

Cyclist wins world championship race in Australia with a BROKEN ELBOW and reveals the enormous courage it took to carry on: ‘It was hell’

  • Annemiek van Vleuten surprises the cycling world by winning with a broken elbow
  • The come-from-behind win could be the biggest of her storied career
  • van Vleuten broke his elbow on Wednesday during a relay race

Annemiek van Vleuten has recorded a stunning come-from-behind victory in the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong – just three days after breaking her elbow in a horror crash.

The 39-year-old Dutch cycling legend won his second world road title with a charge in the final 600m that surprised the other eight leaders.

On Wednesday, van Vleuten crashed during the mixed team relay and broke her elbow, leaving many to believe her chances of making Saturday’s big event were gone.

Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands, front right, races past the finish line to win the elite women’s road race at the World Road Cycling Championships in Wollongong, Australia

van Vleuten crashed three days beforehand and broke his elbow and was not expected to win the event

Fortunately for van Vleuten, medical clearance came on Friday and after 164.3km of running, the Dutch rider stole an unlikely victory in the Women’s Elite Road Race.

The 2019 world champion and reigning Olympic world time trial champion claimed cycling’s triple crown this year, landing the Italian, French and Spanish tours.

But for the veteran, who will celebrate her 40th birthday in October, what she achieved on Saturday was something else.

‘Maybe this is my best win. … I’m still speechless. I still can’t believe it, she said.

‘It took me a while to realize that I had really succeeded because I’m waiting for the moment when they tell me someone was ahead or it was a joke. I had a feeling it couldn’t be true.’

The 39-year-old veteran won his second world road title with a charge in the final 600 meters that stunned the other eight leaders

The stunning victory with a broken elbow adds to the van Vleuten legend as one of the toughest riders in the world.

“It was hell,” she said of riding with the injury.

‘I couldn’t get out of the saddle so I had to do everything sitting down and my legs exploded on the climb.

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‘Normally I really like to get out of the saddle and attack. I had such a different plan. I want to attack.

It was a game of cat and mouse in the last few kilometers of the race as no one in the field made a move.

The Dutch rider believes the win could be the biggest of her incredible career

Then van Vleuten suddenly appeared at the back of the group and started sprinting with the finish line not far away.

The chasing peloton began to close ominously around van Vleuten. However, the lead was just enough to reach the finish line first.

“I felt like I was waiting for the moment,” van Vleuten said.

‘All I thought was ‘I have to attack from the back. It’s the only, only, only chance I have.’

“I waited and waited until they came sprinting over me, but they didn’t catch me,” she said.

It is the second time in as many years that van Vleuten has won at the UCI Road World Championships and claimed the 2019 title.

The win means van Vleuten will spend what is likely to be her last full season wearing the iconic rainbow jersey

Since 2016, the Dutch rider has experienced major obstacles in her career, where she has ridden the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

The world number one rider in the women’s field has continued to set goals and achieve her outlandish goals despite these setbacks.

The win means van Vleuten will spend what is likely to be her last full season wearing the iconic rainbow jersey.

‘It is so beautiful to be able to wear the rainbow sweater. Especially I had it in the year of COVID and it wasn’t the best year to have it, the rainbow sweater.

‘I still enjoyed it, but now I want to enjoy it fully next year.’

The UCI Road World Championships conclude on Sunday with the men’s Elite Road Race from 10.15.

Merry

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