By Ryan Dabbs
The Dutch rider fell during one of the treacherous cobblestone sections, with her recovery time expected to take between four to six weeks before she even managed to get back on her bike. However, within two days, Van Vleuten shared images of her on an exercise bike in hospital.
Writing on her website, the 39-year-old also explains how she managed to start riding on the roads again just ten days after her double crash at the prestigious event, completing 16km without any pain.
She said: “The road to recovery has begun. In the meantime, I've already gone three times to make a round on my city bike. There I sit so upright and also on a very soft and wide saddle, that this was actually painless. Last Tuesday I took my first ride. After sixteen kilometres I was completely exhausted, but it worked. Pain is still my guide in what I should and shouldn't do, but as long as I don't feel pain I can load and move.”
The Movistar rider continued, discussing the check-up she had at Rijnstate Hospital in the Netherlands and her perceived rapid recovery time.
“Everything looked good and the doctors are confident that I can fully recover from this without any problems. I get the reaction from many people that I recover so quickly, but this is only partly true. There is simply a recovery period of four to six weeks for every bone fracture and this time also stands for that for me. I may be a bit more motivated and less banned from exercising as soon as I can responsibly.”
“I do think that that way you make progress a bit faster and in any case you don't lose a lot of muscle and condition.”
The Olympic time trial champion also shared her plans for the off-season, which involves a five-day bicycle tour of Colombia. While she had to postpone the trip from November until December 14-19, Van Vleuten still seemed positive that she will be in a perfect condition to complete the five days.
She will also return to Colombia before the 2022 season begins, as her preparations to win the first ever Tour de France Femmes, among other events, gets underway.
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