It was undoubtedly dramatic, but let’s take a closer look at what’s actually to blame.
WOLLONGONG, Australia (CT) – The week of the 2022 Road World Championships hasn’t gone to plan for Annemiek van Vleuten. The Olympic champion didn’t meet her expectations in Sunday’s individual time trial. And in today’s mixed team time trial relay, the Dutch star had only just set off down the start ramp when disaster struck .
What happened to cause Van Vleuten to hit the pavement so abruptly?
The local broadcast commentators were quick to say it was a collapsed wheel. Others saw the blown tubeless tyre and assumed that was the cause, something van Vleuten also first blamed via Twitter , but has since corrected. Some online commenters suggested Van Vleuten had pulled her foot from the pedal, leading to disaster. And then there was that torn rear derailleur which pointed to a drivetrain issue. It all happened so fast. The CyclingTips team on the ground has been replaying the crash video enough times for it to overtake Baby Shark as the most watched YouTube video. We’ve zoomed into photos to the point where the pixels became jigsaw puzzles. And then we’ve argued about it in detail.
Based on the evidence, we’re pointing the blame at an unexpected chain jam.
Photos show that Van Vleuten pushed off from the start ramp in the big chainring and a large cassette cog. However, a millisecond before she was thrown sideways, that chain was on its way to the small chainring, […]