Olympic and world champion crash in world road cycling

September 21, 2022Updated: September 21, 2022, 4:28 am

Wollongong, Australia (AFP) – Dutch cycling star Animek van Vleuten crashed hard at the start of her mixed-team relay journey at the Road Cycling World Championships on Wednesday.

The Olympic and world champion, one of the biggest names in the world of Wollongong, faced a mechanical problem early in her journey.

Her crash overshadowed the mixed team relay, with Switzerland winning the gold, Italy the silver and Australia the bronze.

Van Vleuten finished second in the Dutch women’s sprint line, just a few meters after starting off the starting slope, when she lost control and hit the ground hard. The Dutch ace was in shock and her right knee was stained with blood as the team’s crew rushed to her aid.

Van Vleuten was noticeably limping as she walked away from the scene of the accident.

It was not clear if Van Vleuten would start the road race on Saturday, as she is one of the candidates. Even without Van Vleuten, the strong Dutch group managed to finish fifth.