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Van Vleuten not ruling out World Championships participation despite broken wrist

Road race world champion Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands en route to winning the 2020 European Championships road race in Plouay, France
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)

The reigning elite women's road race world champion, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott), hasn't ruled out trying to defend her title as part of the Dutch national team at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy, on September 26, despite having crashed out of the Giro Rosa on Thursday and been sidelined with a broken wrist.

"My doctors think very much in terms of possibilities, and I was surprised about that," Van Vleuten said on the radio show Langs de Lijn (Along the Line) on Dutch station NPO Radio 1 on Saturday, according to NOS.nl.

"But it's not a very complicated fracture. I'll look at it day by day, and do everything I can to recover," she said. "I'm in optimal recovery mode, so you never know."

Van Vleuten said that she had been operated on on Saturday – "It was fixed in half an hour" – and that she'd already ridden on a home trainer, presumably without putting any weight on her wrist. She'll then have a brace fitted to her wrist on Monday, which could allow her to race at the Worlds.

"Who knows?" she said of the possibility of racing the hilly, 144km elite women's road race next Saturday. "I can't see into the future. On Monday, I'll consult with the doctors and a brace will be fitted, and I'll be able to cycle with that brace, and then we'll look into it further."

According to NOS, Van Vleuten's place for the Worlds individual time trial on September 24 has already been handed to Trek-Segafredo's Ellen van Dijk, but the Dutch cycling federation, the KNWU, has said that it will "keep the option open" for Van Vleuten to take her place in the eight-rider road race squad, although a decision will have to be made by Tuesday, when final names are to be submitted to the UCI.