GEELONG, Australia — Dutch Olympian Annemiek van Vleuten sprinted clear of four other lead riders to win the women’s event in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Saturday.
The Orica-Scott rider was leading the Rio de Janeiro Olympics road race in the last 10 kilometers in August when she crashed on a descent. Van Vleuten suffered back injuries and a severe concussion, but she soon returned to racing.
She said Saturday she is using the Olympic accident to help motivate herself – “I don’t want it to disappear, because it was one of the best races of my life and I don’t want to ever forget about it – only the ending, maybe,” she said.
The race Saturday had 87 starters from 15 teams and covered 113 kilometers (70 miles).
Van Vleuten finished in a time of 3 hours, 4 minutes, 13 seconds. American Ruth Winder was second, Mayuko Hagiwara of Japan third, Lucy Kennedy of Australia fourth and Britain’s Emma Pooley fifth, all in the same time as the winner.