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Scary crash takes out leader Annemiek van Vlueten in women’s cycling road race

Scary crash takes out leader Annemiek van Vlueten in women\'s cycling road race RIO DE JANEIRO — Leader Annemiek van Vleuten of Netherlands was involved in a spectacular crash in the final stages of the women’s cycling road race by Copacabana beach on Sunday.

Van Vleuten looked headed for victory as she sped down the Vista Chinesa descent alone in slippery conditions after dropping breakaway companion Mara Abbott of United States. But van Vleuten lost control around a corner and clipped a curb to send her sprawling over her handlebar off the road.

Van Vleuten was unconscious “for a considerable period of time,” Dutch cycling team manager Johan Lammerts told USA TODAY Sports. She regained consciousness before being loaded into an ambulance to be taken to a local hospital, and she was talking.

Lammerts said he would join van Vleuten at the hospital after wrapping up events at the cycling venue.

According to the Dutch cycling federation, Van Vleuten had a concussion and three spike fractures. She tweeted that she would be OK, expressing disappointment.

The crash put Abbott into the lead by 40 seconds with fewer than 10 kilometers left in the race. The American was overtaken by the rapidly advancing pack as she headed toward the finish line. She ended up fourth.

Eventual winner Anna van der Breggen, van Vleuten’s teammate, was in tears, being consoled by silver medalist Emma Johansson of Sweden and bronze medalist Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy before she stepped to accept her gold medal. […]

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