Van der Breggen pulled from bike by Tokyo Olympics official during time trial training

OYAMA JAPAN JULY 25 Anna van der Breggen of Team Netherlands during the Womens road race on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fuji International Speedway on July 25 2021 in Oyama Shizuoka Japan Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Anna van der Breggen during the women's road race at the Tokyo Olympics (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Anna van der Breggen's preparation for the Tokyo Olympics time trial was disrupted on Tuesday when she was pulled from her bike by officials while training at the Fuji International Speedway.

The Dutchwoman, who is among the favourites for Wednesday's time trial, was riding with teammate Annemiek Van Vleuten when the incident occurred.

She was stopped at the circuit and was reportedly sent off balance by the officials, according to a report by WielerFlits.

"Because there were some women on the track who rode around unchecked, the security was very strict," Van der Breggen told WielerFlits. "We were checked a first time and when we passed that point again, we wanted to continue but the guards jumped in front of our bikes.

"Not much more happened. In any case, the incident has no consequences for my Olympic time trial tomorrow. I want to focus on that fully now."

A video posted to Twitter by Japanese cycling coach Kyosuke Takei showed several riders waiting outside the circuit, with Van der Breggen off her bike talking to officials.

"Everyone had to stop because of an error by the organisers," Japanese cycling coach Kyosuke Takei told Wielerflits. "In the turmoil with the guards, Anna was threatened and pulled down.

"It was a big mess today at the final training of the time trial. It was sad what happened. The organisers have no respect for the riders. I understand that everyone is trying to do their best in their position, but this was very confusing. I haven't seen anything like that in a long time."

Van der Breggen, who is the reigning world time trial champion and took bronze in the discipline in the 2016 Games in Rio, wasn't injured in the incident and will be able to race the time trial as normal.

The incident is the latest to befall Dutch riders at the Tokyo Games. At Monday's men's mountain bike race, Mathieu van der Poel crashed out of contention after misjudging a jump when he thought there would be a wooden ramp available. On the same day, BMX rider Niek Kimmann suffered a knee injury while training after colliding with an official who suddenly tried to cross the track.

Meanwhile, at the women's road race, a mix-up in communication in the Dutch team saw Van Vleuten mistakenly celebrate victory as she crossed the finish line, unaware that gold medallist Anna Kiesenhofer had already finished, winning from the early breakaway.

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Daniel Ostanek
Senior news writer

Daniel Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Prior to joining the team, he had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.


Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.


As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also oversees The Leadout newsletter and How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal.