Olympics: Van Vleuten in intensive care after serious crash in road race | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.08.2016
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Olympics: Van Vleuten in intensive care after serious crash in road race

The Dutch rider has suffered three cracks to the spine and a concussion but is said to be "conscious and ok". She crashed on the same stretch of road that led to a collision and accident in the men's race.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten has been taken to intensive care after suffering three small fractures in her vertebrae and a severe concussion after a horrific crash in Sunday's Olympic women's road race.

Whilst leading the race with around 15km to go, Van Vleuten lost control at the bottom of a steep descent and crashed head-first in to a raised, stone kerb. Coverage of the event showed the cyclist still and unresponsive as help arrived on the course.

Yet the Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) later assured fans that she was stable and conscious, before releasing a statement regarding the athletes condition.

"Annemiek has severe concussion and three small fracture particles in her lumbar spine," the statement said. "She will remain in hospital for 24 hours at intensive care. She is conscious and talking.”

The 33-year-old crashed on the same stretch of road that Geriant Thomas fell off in the men's race the day before, resulting in himself, Vincenzo Nibali and Sergio Henao all falling from their bikes at a similarly steep turn in the course.

“It looked pretty bad. I thought she was dead,” said Van Vleuten's compatriot Anna van der Breggen, who later won the women's race for Holland. “No one did anything about it. It's the most important day in your career. When you see something like that, it really does not matter anymore.”

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