Van Vleuten Returns To Racing After Accident
Photo: Iri Greco / BrakeThrough Media
Annemiek van Vleuten has made a miraculous recovery after being hit by a vehicle little over three weeks ago. The 32 year old will return to racing tomorrow in the Boels Rental Ladies Tour after even surprising doctors with her recovery.
Van Vleuten says her expectations for the race are low and she’s grateful to just race as she expected her season to be over at the time of the crash.
“The doctor told me it was good to go on the bike if I felt ok and I think that was the secret to the recovery. I saw everyday I made a progression. I have three broken ribs and it’s properly broken but I must say the pain is not too bad. I am really surprised,” van Vleuten said.
The race is one in which she has done well in before, her best result being second overall in 2013.
“My expectations for the race are really low. My first goal is to help the team. Normally in this race I would be going for the overall or a stage but I am just really happy to race and help the team. After that I hope to get better and by the end of the week see how I am going. I think the first days might be hard and painful but it’s possible to be better towards the end of the week. Maybe we can target the overall with Carmen Small because she’s a really good time trialist. I know all the roads of this race so I am looking forward to helping the girls with advice.”
If all goes well for van Vleuten, she will end the race, have some recovery time then head to Premondiale Giro Toscana. After initially being on the preliminary list before the accident, she’ll now miss the World Championships.
“I was afraid that that was the end of my season and that my last race would be the Giro. I was really looking forward to the last part of the season with the team so I’m really happy that I can race again. It’s better to end the season like this. My goal was to go to World Championships still but unfortunately the national coach decided to take 7 strong Dutch girls who are fit and I understand that.”
1 - 6 September - Boels Rental Ladies Tour
- Annemiek van Vleuten
- Carmen Small
- Clara Koppenburg
- Doris Schweizer
- Lisa Klein
- Vera Koedooder
Race website: www.hollandladiestour.nl