Annemiek van Vleuten is in intensive care overnight after suffering concussion and three spinal fractures after falling during the women’s road race
The UCI has defended the design of the Rio Olympic road race course after a Dutch rider was admitted to intensive care following a horrific crash on day two of the Games.
Annemiek van Vleuten was hospitalised with concussion and three fractures to her lower back following her horrific downhill crash 10-kilometres from the end of the 137km race, which she was leading at the time.
A Dutch Olympic Committee official revealed she sustained “three small fractures in her spine, a heavy concussion and she has to stay on the intensive care overnight”.
Immediately after the race, the UCI said in a statement: “Ms van Vleuten is conscious, able to communicate.”
But the world governing body later issued another statement after criticism of the course.
The UCI said in a statement: “The Rio 2016 road race course was carefully designed and was extensively tested at the test event and in training.
“We do our utmost to design safe, challenging courses but unfortunately crashes do sometimes occur due to a combination of factors.”
Chris Boardman, 1992 Olympic champion and BBC co-commentator, thought the route was “dangerous”.
He told the BBC: “It’s very hard to concentrate when you see a crash like that.
“I’m actually quite angry because I looked at the road furniture and thought nobody can crash here and get up. This was way past technical, this was dangerous.”
Van Vleuten’s compatriot Anna van der Breggen went on to win the race at Copacabana beach.
Van der Breggen said: “I was really shocked when I saw the crash and it didn’t look good but I had to focus and keep on with the race.”