In 2016 in Rio, a terrifying fall had left her unconscious by the side of the road ten kilometers from the finish.
The emergency services feared for her life, she had escaped with a concussion and three broken vertebrae.
This Sunday, the Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten had her revenge.
She got a silver medal but until her trainer congratulated her and hugged her, she thought she was adorning herself with gold.
In the absence of earbuds on the Olympic races, she thought she had dried up the competition in the last few meters.
In fact, a minute and fifteen seconds earlier, it was the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer who had just done so, to everyone's surprise.
🚴 Austria's Kiesenhofer seizes gold to everyone's surprise.
Van Vleuten takes the money and lets his joy explode.
In a race without an earpiece, the Dutchwoman thought she was in the lead ... # Tokyo2020 #JeuxOlympiques pic.twitter.com/K6uVBnY7sw
- France tv sport (@francetvsport) July 25, 2021
This misunderstanding allows a little better understanding of the incredible error of strategy of the Batavian selection, immense favorite of the race.
The Dutch thought they had caught up with all the competitors in the morning breakaway, they had in fact completely omitted Kiesenhofer's solo breakaway.
“I didn't know, I was wrong,” Van Vleuten told the media.
“We thought we were doing well and we were driving for gold when we took over the Polish and the Israeli.
We didn't have the right information, ”Anna van der Breggen also admitted to national television Nos.
This day was unforgettable from start to finish for Van Vleuten.
66 kilometers from the finish, the Dutch crashed and almost said goodbye to the podium.