Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) broke her wrist in a training crash on Thursday. The Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner successfully underwent surgery on the fracture on Thursday evening in Arnhem, the Netherlands, her team said in a statement.
The injury will see the 39-year-old sit out the upcoming Spanish races, where she usually performs well. This includes the first edition of Itzulia Women and the Emakumeen Nafarroako Classic, which she won last year, as well as Vuelta a Burgos Feminas where she placed second overall in 2021.
On her personal website, the reigning Olympic time trial champion said: “Where I was looking forward to two weeks of super fun chilling at home, that plan fell through. Yesterday I was cycling with my former teammate Iris Slappendel. I had a very unfortunate fall, and I caught my entire body weight on my wrist.”
Social media images showed Van Vleuten was mountain biking with former pro and founder of The Cyclists Alliance, Slappendel, yesterday evening. “A surgery was necessary, regardless of whether I am a cyclist or not. The fracture is not that complicated, but it is necessary for surgery. I am once again in the hands of Rijnstate and I am happy about that. Fortunately, the people of Rijnstate know very well, but I do know that I am in very good hands,” Van Vleuten continued.
The Movistar rider has broken her wrist before, although it is unclear if this is the same wrist as the one she injured at the Giro Rosa in 2020 just days before the world championships in Imola where she raced to second behind Anna van der Breggen. This time, however, the team will be ensuring that Van Vleuten takes the necessary precautions before returning to racing.
“As the Movistar Team management remains committed to putting health before any sporting goals, no plans have been established on Van Vleuten’s return to racing. The Spanish races the Olympic champion was going to compete at in May (Navarra Classics, Itzulia Women and Vuelta a Burgos) are currently out of her schedule,” the team said.
The team also confirmed Van Vleuten will prepare for both the Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift as planned.
“While no timeline has been set on Van Vleuten’s recovery, the doctors’ assessment of her fractures after surgery confirms a full recovery is to be expected. Annemiek’s approach to the Grand Tours in July (Giro d’Italia Donne + Tour de France Femmes) will not be compromised by the injury, either,” the team stated.
“I was going to race the Spanish block. I have to get that off my calendar. In terms of recovery, the outlook is good. It is only very annoying for me that I wanted to enjoy myself and that I am now out of action because of something so unfortunate,” said Van Vleuten.