How many time have we heard on the podcast sprint from the back with speed and jump the riders at the front? Annemiek van Vleuten has just provided the perfect demonstration of how to do it.
I just watched the finish, I really don’t get how the riders in the front were just chilling and not pedalling?
And then she comes riding by in full speed…
Also, can we please stop normalising riding injured, kids and young riders and looking up to these riders, and the whole normalisation of riding when injured is not a good look. First Roglic and now van Vleuten.
I don’t know how far back you started, but the chase (that AvV was in but did not contribute to) had just caught the front two, so the group was reforming itself. Like OP said, it was textbook race tactics. Exactly the right time for an attack, and she was already in the ideal position.
The Dutchies get a lot of deserved criticism for how the national team races, but they really had it together today.
Just saw the final 500-600m I believe, so you’re probably right!
I was just surprised at how many were freewheeling at the front group, pretty much only saw the single rider up front pedalling, the rest not.
Watch from about 1k out.
I can’t believe she has a broken arm. Nothing about how she celebrated or in the podium, or sprinting out of the saddle suggested it was broken as far as I can tell. I think it was putting out a message in the media for the other riders, surely?
Racing when you have a non-limiting injury is fine though. Not sure why it would be a problem if your injury isn’t serious enough to stop you winning the rainbow jersey
I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the socks. Looked very long from here. We need more UCI officials measuring sock length (I’m not joking)!
Fractured/broken elbow. So bad that she couldn’t ride out of the saddle…
It’s not road rash level stuff, this sends the message that “yeah, the pros ride with fractures so I can as well”…
Honestly, one of the best last 30km of a race I’ve seen all year. Was a bit of a yawner prior to that, but the last two laps are must watch racing for anyone who is a fan of the sport
Perfect timing in the coverage by the way - having the helicopter shot of her move live made it crystal clear how large the speed difference was. Watching it I said out loud, she’s won it. Just amazing tactically
Only time I saw her stand all day was the final 50 meters, when I assume adrenaline overwhelmed any pain response.
The two things the announcers highlighted about her injury throughout the race (when she was domestique-ing for the Dutch) were
- doctor’s told her she couldn’t do further injury riding
- she wouldn’t be a danger to other riders due to the limitations of the injury
It was these two things that made her decide to race. These seem like two major considerations and I think if both of those things are true then I have no problem with her racing injured
I personally disagree with this. If people are ignorant enough to decide whether to ride based on what the pros are doing instead of what their doctors recommended them after an injury, maybe they deserve what’s coming to them.
Or maybe not…
Please. We can admire their competitive spirit and ability to rise above their circumstances and encourage young riders to aspire to excellence.
In the examples you gave, both were under close medical supervision, and this was well covered in the press. We’re not talking about ignoring concussion, we’re talking about working with a doc who helped a great athlete evaluate risk and reward.
There was some hilarity on Twitter at the time.
Honestly “women’s-specific” cycling socks are ankle socks, and women generally have shorter tibias than men. Regular cycling socks (like the ones most of the pro peloton wears, men and women) are designed for a male average, so shorter women who wear them (which clearly does not include AvV yesterday, those were REAL TALL SOCKS) often don’t have great options. That said:
Maybe she should have used tape instead
As a short guy (a bit shorter than Van Vleuten) cycling brands don’t really cater to short people.
I recall messaging a brand after purchasing a jersey that fit me in the chest but was way too long in the body and sleeves and they said that they make all of their clothing in all mens sizes to fit riders who are 5’10" or taller.
I have seen some tall fit stuff out there but there doesn’t seem to be enough demand to make short fit stuff. These socks likely were not women’s specific and likely had a cuff height intended for someone that is 5" or more taller than Van Vleuten.
In that photo at the top of the CT article Van Vleuten’s socks were comically long.
These are WT teams and professionals who know the UCI rules, and this particular rule, inside-out. This could have only been a deliberate decision by either her or the DS to break those rules to gain an unfair aerodynamic advantage. To only receive a small fine for such a flagrant breach is laughable, and will only encourage similar conduct in future.
The CT article also refers to the fact that Van Vleuten received a separate, slightly larger fine for starting the road race in a skinsuit, also in breach of the UCI rules, and different to the clothing worn by her teammates in the road race.
The combination of the socks and skinsuit may not have made the difference to her winning on the day, but it’s not a good look. Either way her and/or the DS made deliberate decisions to violate UCI rules for an unfair advantage.
She’s a great champion, but my opinion of her has certainly reduced as a result of this.
The skinsuit certainly didn’t make a difference as she wore a jersey over the top so if anything probably made her less aero.
Whole thing smacks more of incompetence to me. Which seems to be a theme with the Dutch national team at the moment considering what happened with MVDP and other stories coming out of their camp (including why they were staying so far from the race in the first place).
Glad she was fined not DQed, would have been a very hollow victory for Kopecky given the way VV finished that race. Hopefully she and the Dutch team have learned the lesson.
Worth pointing out that this fine was because the color scheme was different on the skin suit than on the regular kit - not the functionality/aerodynamics of the skin suit.
This is not to say that fine wasn’t justified - her kit was a much more traditional, darker, orange than the rest of the Dutch team, so clearly didn’t match. But it is a bit disingenuous to compare it to the sock violation, where the rule exists purely for performance control reasons
As to whether either rule makes sense, I cannot say - but they are very different rules