Annemiek van Vleuten confirms she is ready to ride World Championships as she awaits doctor’s approval
Annemiek van Vleuten insists she feels ‘ready to start’ the women’s road race at the World Championships on Saturday as she waits on a decision from her doctor.
The 37 year-old fractured her wrist in a crash while leading the Giro Rosa eight days ago and was forced to pull out with just two stages remaining.
It was initially thought she would not be able to recover in time for the World Championships in Italy just nine days after, but following surgery and the insertion of a metal plate, she is confident she can compete.
"My wrist feels quite good and I can’t complain because, for me, it’s a miracle how it feels," she told Cycling News. "I don’t have pain on the bike and I can grab my handlebars, 100 per cent. I don’t have any problems with bike handling and that is something that was important in my decision.
"The doctors told me that if I crashed again, it’s not a problem, and would not damage it more. It’s a special case, and the reason that I have less pain. They didn't give me complete anaesthetic. I just had local anaesthetic, and I was conscious through the procedure and it only took 30 minutes.
"They put in a metal plate, which is why it’s stronger than before, which can stay in or come out later. My wrist doesn’t feel great when I wake up, but I can’t complain because I’m not in too much pain and I can handle my bike 100 per cent.
"We decide on Friday, together with the medical staff, but if it were up to only me, I want to start and I feel ready to start. It’s also safe to start. If it were only up to me, I would definitely ride, but it still has to be cleared through the doctor."
Van Vleuten is the defending world road race champion after she won the title for the first time in her career in Harrogate 12 months ago.
The Dutch sensation produced one of the all-time great rides by attacking with more than 100 kilometres remaining and cruising to a remarkable solo victory.
If she does line up at the start on Saturday, her biggest challenge could come from fellow countrywoman Anna van der Breggen.
The 2018 world road race champion is coming off the back of overall victory at the Giro Rosa and a gold medal performance in the time trial on Thursday.