Annemiek van Vleuten wins in first appearance since Olympics crash

Having fractured her spine in three places and suffered severe concussion at the Olympic Games, Annemiek van Vleuten bounces back to win just a month later

Annemiek van Vleuten shortly before her crash. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Nearly a month to the day after her horror crash at the Olympic Games, which left her hospitalised for several days, Annemiek van Vleuten stormed to victory in her first race back.

Van Vleuten crashed heavily on the final descent of the Rio 2016 road race, leaving her with three spinal fractures, severe concussion and an enforced stay in a local hospital.

But the 33-year-old has bounced back to winning ways by dominating the 4.3km prologue at the start of the Lotto Belgium Tour to win by a full seven seconds.

It's fair to say her impressive win went down well with cycling fans, who were left stunned by her horrific accident in Rio.

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The win is Van Vleuten's fourth against the clock this season, including the Dutch National Championships time trial in June.

Van Vleuten takes a seven second lead into the final three stages of the race, which features a finish in Geraardsbergen on the final day.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.