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Annemiek van Vleuten considering racing Worlds on fractured wrist

Road race world champion Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands en route to winning the 2020 European Championships road race in Plouay, France
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Just five days after fracturing her wrist in a crash while leading the Giro Rosa and having to abandon the race, Annemiek van Vleuten is considering racing this week's UCI Road World Championships after a test ride in a wrist brace.

The defending road world champion crashed in the final kilometre of stage 7 of the Giro Rosa to Maddaloni while racing with Mitchelton-Scott in the Italian Women's WorldTour event.

She left the race and flew back to the Netherlands for surgery on her wrist all the while believing the Worlds were out of the question.

That changed after her surgery. On Sunday, Van Vleuten said she was still considering defending her rainbow jersey with the Dutch national team.

"My doctors think very much in terms of possibilities, I was surprised about that," she told NOS.nl.  "It's not a complicated break. I look at it day by day and do everything I can to recover optimally. You never know."

Van Vleuten, won the 2019 women's title on a difficult circuit in Yorkshire with a 100km solo attack and the Imola circuit in Italy, where the races are being held after being moved from Aigle, Switzerland due to coronavirus restrictions, is similarly hilly and technical.

After being fitted with a special wrist brace, Van Vleuten was given the green light to try riding outside on Tuesday.

"It went well, I am hopeful. According to the doctors it is safe to cycle outside with a brace. I have no pain on the bike. The brace provides extra strength. I don't think it is necessary, but it will be nice for four hours of racing," she said.

The elite women's road race is on Saturday, and Van Vleuten is going to wait until Friday to make her final decision.