Annemiek van Vleuten fainted just hours before World Championship time trial win

The 35-year-old Dutchwoman dominated in Innsbruck, but her day did not get off to an easy start

Annemiek van Vleuten is the 2018 time trial world champion Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The women’s time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten fainted just hours before her dominant performance in Innsbruck.

Van Vleuten took the top spot on an all Dutch podium in the World Championship elite women’s TT, just hours after she fainted during a doping test according to Dutch media.

The 35-year-old stormed to victory ahead of compatriots Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk.

Dutch broadcaster NOS reports that van Vleuten fainted during a doping test on the morning of the TT.

>>>UCI Road World Championships 2018: dates, route, where to watch and more

She told NOS: “That was not a great start to the day.

“Fortunately the check was at 8am and I still had enough time to clear my head.”

Reports say that doctors were unable to find a vein and the use of the needle caused her to faint.

Van Vleuten was the only rider to hit the 48 kilometres per hour average mark over the 27.8km course.

Taking her second consecutive world championship TT victory, van Vleuten bested Dutch team-mate van der Breggen by 28 seconds.

The podium was rounded off by van Dijk, who was 1-25 down.

Van Vleuten told NOS: “I started like a rocket and was completely dead at the finish.”

British riders Alice Barnes and Hayley Simmonds were 22nd and 23rd respectively, finishing 3-42 and 3-47 behind the winner.

After her victory, van Vleuten said: “There’s not too many times someone has won twice the time trial world championships.

“It added a bit of pressure but I also felt the pressure last year so it was no different.

“The hard thing about this time trial was that it was uphill but in the descent you didn’t have recovery so you also needed to push.

“So actually your legs are screaming to stop peddling in the descents but you have to keep on going otherwise you lose time.”

Van Vleuten said her next goal is the women’s World Championship road race on Saturday.

She added: “First I am going to enjoy this one, but not for too long because Saturday is a beautiful course and I really look forward to racing on it with out team."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1