Annemiek van Vleuten set to ride world championship road race with brace on fractured wrist
Reigning world road race champion Annemiek van Vleuten is set to defend her title on Saturday despite suffering from a fractured wrist.
The 37 year-old, who was leading the Giro Rosa by nearly two minutes with just two stages to go last week, was forced to abandon after she came down in a crash on stage seven.
After being taken to hospital, it was confirmed her wrist had been fractured just eight days before the women’s road race at the world championships.
But in a remarkable turnaround, Van Vleuten has managed to find a way of supporting the wrist that will enable her to compete in Italy this weekend.
Speaking after having a brace fitted on Monday, she told Dutch news outlet NOS: "It went well, I am hopeful. According to the doctors it is safe to cycle outside with a brace.
"I have no pain on the bike. The brace provides extra strength. I don't think it is necessary, but it will be nice for four hours of racing."
In last year’s race, Van Vleuten won the road race title for the first time in her career after an incredible solo attack more than 100 kilometres from the finish saw her win by more than two minutes.
She is also a two-time world time trial champion but will not compete in the discipline this year as it gets underway later tomorrow.
American Chloe Dygert is the hot favourite to take the time trial crown for a second year running after she won by the biggest margin ever 12 months ago, beating second place Anna van der Breggen by one minute and 32 seconds.
The world championships were re-located to Imola, Italy earlier this month after the original event in Switzerland was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.