Anniemiek van Vleuten knows how Ellen van Dijk feels at the Rio Olympics.
The Dutch rider crashed heavily while leading the Olympic road race over the weekend, then watched her compatriot van Dijk run off the road during Wednesday’s time trial _ a massive mistake on the rain-slicked roads that likely cost her a chance at a medal.
AP Photo/Victor Caivano
Van Dijk finished in 44 minutes, 48.74 seconds. That was just 22 seconds behind gold medalist Kristin Armstrong of the United States, and a scant 11 seconds out of taking bronze.
It was instead won by countrywoman Anna van der Breggen, the road race gold medalist, leaving van Dijk in tears when she met her family.
“Feel you! We need each other,” van Vleuten tweeted in Dutch. “Nothing to explain.”
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) August 10, 2016
At least van Dijk stayed aboard her bike, even if it did get tangled in road-side weeds. Van Vleuten went to the hospital with a concussion and three spinal fractures, though she has since been released and is planning to fly back to the Netherlands on Friday.
Van der Breggen said she dedicated her bronze medal to her teammates.
“It’s been really emotional here for us after what happened in the road race,” she said. “Everyone gave it their all. I’m very emotional that I won a medal again.”