Dutch cyclist in intensive care with three spinal fractures after horror crash

Posted August 08, 2016

The 31-year-old was 5 minutes 0.7 second behind Dutch victor Anna van der Breggen who outsprinted Swede Emma Johansson and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini at the end of the tough 137km course.

Sailing past her crumpled teammate, Anna van der Breggen suddenly realized she was the only hope the Netherlands had of defending its gold medal in the women's Olympic road race.

She was in front with about 10km to go when she skidded on a steep descent and smashed head-first into the road and a stone kerb.

Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed, freeing Armitstead to climb into the saddle Sunday, when the world champion finished fifth.

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"Obviously I've lost quite a lot of sleep and its been a hard time, but its not an excuse". I know that no matter what happens that it will probably be the best summer of my life.

Commentating for the BBC, former Olympic champion Chris Boardman said he was "angry" about the descent's tight roads and deep gutters.

The wait for the first Olympic medal for Britain at Rio continues.

"Ms. Van Vleuten is conscious, able to communicate". "This was way past technical, this was unsafe".

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American Mara Abbott passed her for the lead seconds later, and the rest of the field followed. Her team-mates Emma Pooley and Nikki Harris did not finish. She got into her handlebar drops, sucked down one last energy gel and began to accelerate through streets lined with fans.

Armitstead added she had support from her fellow riders within the peloton.

Abbott appeared to be home free for a gold medal once van Vleuten went down, with nobody near her on the course.

Three riders, working together behind her, caught Abbott just before she got to the line.

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She nearly wasn't allowed to compete at Rio 2016 after missing three drugs tests - but she was cleared days before the competition started.