Annemiek van Vleuten crashes out of Mixed Relay Time Trial, suffers elbow fracture

Annemiek van Vleuten crash World Championships 2022

The Mixed Relay Time Trial was expected to be an easy win for the Dutch. The bookies’ favourite and featuring a team with the Time Trial champion Ellen van Dijk, the former Time Trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten and all-round awesome rider Mathieu van der Poel. Behind them, the likes of Italy and Switzerland were expected to make the podium with strong teams and previous results in this race.

Never immune from criticism, the mixed relay time trial was put into the World Championships calendar to replace the trade team time trial that used to fill in the gap in the middle of the week between the time trial and road race events. It’s a format that’s not repeated much during the year, with only juniors really doing it during the European Championships but that was largely it in 2022. Compared to the TTT format, were at least world champions in an event that whilst sparsely raced, was at least something that gave teams another chance to wear the rainbow stripes.

Bauke Mollema Seagull World Championships 2022
Bauke Mollema gets closer to the local wildlife

This year’s race didn’t go to plan for the Dutch. During the men’s part of the relay, Bauke Mollema (winner of this event in 2019) dropped his chain and was also hit by a seagull during the race. Those events left the men a rider down before handing over to the women. Rolling off the start ramp and out of the saddle to get the speed up, Annemiek van Vleuten’s chain dropped as well. That saw her lose balance and hit the kerb and barriers at the side of the road, exploding her front tyre and spraying sealant everywhere in the process. Ellen van Dijk was behind Van Vleuten during the crash and managed to unclip and surf over Annemiek’s disc wheel on the ground.

The Dutch cycling federation, KNWU, has confirmed that Annemiek van Vleuten has a stable fracture in her elbow as a result of the crash. The injury hasn’t taken her out of Saturday’s road race just yet, with a decision to be made closer to the start.

“Annemiek is allowed to cycle with this stable fracture, but the question is of course with how much pain that will be. We will see that in the coming days. We hope that Annemiek can still start, but that has to be justified.”

Loes Gunnewijk, Dutch national coach

2022 World Championship Mixed Relay Time Trial 2022 Results

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