Rio 2016: Dutch cyclist Van Vleuten "okay" and conscious following heavy fall


The Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) confirmed Annemiek van Vleuten was "okay" and conscious after suffering a horrendous fall towards the end of the women's road race at Rio 2016.

Van Vleuten was leading the field coming into the closing stages of Sunday's race, but came off her bike in frightening fashion on the final descent of the 136.9-kilometre route, landing awkwardly after falling at high speed. 

There was great concern for the 33-year-old as compatriot  Anna van der Breggen went on to take victory ahead of Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy).

However, the KNWU released a positive update from its official Twitter account after the race had finished, revealing that Van Vleuten was "okay".

The federation soon added: "Van Vleuten is conscious and has been transported to the hospital for further examination. The KNWU doctor is with her."

Gold medal winner Van der Breggen was understandably disturbed by the incident.

"It really shook me when I saw Annemiek had crashed," said the race winner of her colleague.

Former Olympic individual pursuit champion Chris Boardman expressed his fury at the danger posed by the course, with Vincenzo Nibali and Richie Porte having both suffered fractures in Saturday's men's race.

"I am past commenting - I am angry about it," Boardman told the BBC.

"I went down and had a look at the course and saw those edges. We knew it was way past being technical; it was dangerous.

"The people who designed the course and said what safety features were needed had seen it as well and left it.

"We knew the descent was treacherous. I looked at that road furniture and thought, nobody can crash here and just get up. It is really bad and that is what we have seen today."