European time trial champion Ellen van Dijk was sent hurtling down a grassy bank at the side of the road after her chain slipped in the prologue of the Boels Ladies Tour.
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The 3.8 kilometre prologue covered a circuit of the Tom Dumoulin BikePark in Sittard, with the course made up of technical, twisty roads, with a cobbled stretch.
Exciting the cobbles, the Trek-Segafredo rider was forced to unclip, rolling sideways on to the grass.
The force of the first chainless pedal stroke seemed to almost send her over the bars, though thankfully a foot down manoeuvre seemed to prevent the more impactful dismount.
The Dutch rider managed to complete the stage, finishing 100th of 101 riders, 1 minute 48 seconds down on the 5-04 time of winner Annemiek van Vleuten.
Having previously tweeted that she looked forward to a “twisty prologue”, the 32-year-old said after the race: “Ok, this what not really what I meant with a ‘twisty prologue’. Unfortunately my chain dropped off the front chainring after the cobbles. Disappointed, but happy to be ok!”
The six day stage race in the Netherlands continues tomorrow, with a 123km sprinter’s stage from Stramproy to Weert.
Stage three is also expected to be a day for the sprinter’s, covering four laps of a 29km loop. The GC contenders are likely to be more excited by the hillier stage three, over 156km from Nijverdal to Nijverdal.
The following day features the 8 per cent Oude Holleweg, 11km from the finish, whilst the final stage is mostly flat ahead of three laps of a 9km circuit – containing the kilometre long Apeldoornseweg climb.
Van Dijk is riding alongside British former world champion Lizzie Deignan, Abi van Twisk, Elisa Longo Borghini, Letizia Paternoster and Trixi Worrack.