Van Vleuten pedalling again after surgery

Time trial world champion continues recovery from operation on injured knee

Time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) is pedalling again following surgery to repair the tibial plateau fracture she suffered in a crash during the UCI Road World Championships elite women's road race late last month.

The 36-year-old Dutchwoman posted a video on Twitter of herself gingerly pedalling a stationary bike, with the word "Milestone" noting the significance of the day. Van Vleuten, who defended her time trial world title four days before crashing in the road race and finishing seventh, underwent surgery on October 1 to repair the fractured bone in her knee.

She said at the time her recovery would require wearing a brace for four weeks that would not allow her to bend the joint. Her 'milestone' on Monday was the first time she's been able t go through an entire pedal stroke.

Van Vleuten went down in a crash with Great Britain's Dani King on a traffic island with 95km to go in the elite women's road race on September 29. She remounted and chased back on, and then helped to spark the winning move by Dutch teammate Anna van der Breggen with 42km to go. Van Vleuten finished seventh on the day before realising there was a serious problem with her knee.

When she was unable to walk after the race, Van Vleuten was taken by ambulance to hospital, where X-rays revealed she had a piece of bone broken off inside her knee. Surgery quickly followed.

Van Vleuten took 12 wins in 2018, including defending her time trial rainbow jersey. She also won the overall at the Boels Ladies Tour and the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, along with multiple stage wins in each race. She took one-day victories at La Course by Le Tour de France and the Veenendaal Veenendaal Classic.

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