Annemiek van Vleuten endured a massive freak crash in the opening seconds of the blended team time trial as the Dutch tremendous squad’s hopes of gold unravelled at the Street World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
Just times following coming down the start ramp, Van Vleuten quickly and inexplicably veered throughout the road and smashed into the barriers.
“Disaster! Disaster!” cried Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary.
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Time demo earth champion Ellen van Dijk almost arrived a cropper as well, having to unclip as she took an unscheduled vacation across her workforce-mate’s stricken bike.
Van Vleuten was still left in a crumpled heap in the flooring, her palms on her helmet in shock, as Van Dijk and Riejanne Markus set about salvaging the race.
“The Dutch doomed from the start out. Pricey, oh dear, oh pricey. What on earth transpired there?” continued Hatch.
“We sit in a point out of shock. Annemiek van Vleuten as well, she simply cannot feel what occurred there.”
The Dutch arrived as big favourites for the blended team time demo following Van Vleuten persuaded Mathieu van der Poel to be part of her in the Dutch squad.
But their obstacle disintegrated within just three minutes as Bauke Mollema suffered a mechanical in the men’s leg, leaving Van der Poel and Daan Hoole with a salvage mission.
Whilst the pair arrived at the changeover only 40 seconds down after an extraordinary trip, the Dutch’s mission inconceivable became mission unattainable when Vleuten hit the tarmac in a surprising crash.
“I actually do not know what transpired there,” said Michael Hutchinson on Eurosport commentary.
“It simply appeared as while she misplaced command of the entrance wheel of the bicycle. It appears to be an amazing matter. It is difficult to believe a rider of her working experience and means would have that materialize.”
Van Vleuten afterwards lose light on the incident on social media, declaring her “front tyre exploded”. The 39-12 months-previous explained she was heading to healthcare facility for X-rays on her appropriate aspect, with her participation in Saturday’s road race now in serious doubt.
Markus and Van Dijk regrouped to end a commendable fifth – a massively amazing result offered they only experienced four riders versus their rivals’ 6 for all but 3 minutes of the race.
“The Dutch have had the day from hell,” concluded Hutchinson.
The combined workforce time trial in Wollongong saw teams of a few men entire a 14.1km circuit, with groups of three females beginning the similar circuit when the gentlemen concluded.
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Source: Euro Athletics