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Dutch bike owner Annemiek van Vleuten threw her arms up within the air, her face an image of ecstasy and pleasure.
That’s what you do whenever you suppose you’ve gained Olympic gold – besides she hadn’t.
That honor went to Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer, who capitalized on her rival’s confusion within the Tokyo 2020 Olympic girls’s street race on Sunday to safe a shock win.
“Once I crossed the road, I assumed I had gained,” mentioned silver medalist Van Vleuten.
Kiesenhofer gave the efficiency of a lifetime to eclipse a discipline of huge names and win the race, ending in slightly below 4 hours.
The 30-year-old Austrian broke away from the peleton greater than 40 kilometers from the top, holding her personal on a demanding 147-kilometer course within the intense warmth to win Austria’s first biking gold medal since 1896.
Kiesenhofer spent a lot of the remainder of the race to this point forward of the chasing pack that she was out of sight of the opposite cyclists.
Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Photos
Anna Kiesenhofer was the underdog going into the biking street race, having solely taken up the game in 2014.
Cyclists race with out earpieces on the Olympics and that performed a component in Van Vleuten’s confusion, in keeping with the 38-year-old Dutch lady.
“That is an instance (of what occurs) in the event you trip an necessary race like this with out communication. All World Tour races have communication, and now it’s the three of us standing right here and questioning who has really gained,” added Van Vleuten, referring to teammates Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen.
“I’m gutted about that, in fact,” mentioned Van Vleuten.
If she was gutted, Van Vleuten was additionally happy to have come away with a medal after she suffered a horror crash in the course of the street race on the 2016 Olympic Video games in Rio.
“I’m actually happy with the medal, as a result of I didn’t have an Olympic medal. It’s additionally a silver medal with a shine on it, as a result of I felt tremendous good as we speak,” mentioned Van Vleuten.
“My purpose was to be at my finest ever degree right here, and I feel I nailed that. It’s not the consequence we have been hoping for, however for me personally, I feel I did a extremely good race.”
Tim de Waele/Getty Photos
Annemiek van Vleuten took silver within the girls’s street race on the Tokyo Olympics.
Kiesenhofer, who doesn’t at the moment have knowledgeable contract, solely took up the game in 2014, turning skilled three years later.
Based on the Olympics web site, the Austrian mentioned her ambition was “to compete on the 2020 Olympics Video games in Tokyo.” She’s definitely completed that and extra.
Kiesenhofer isn’t simply an achieved bike owner – she has grasp’s diploma in arithmetic from the College of Cambridge, England and a PhD in utilized arithmetic from the Polytechnic College of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.
“My legs have been utterly empty. I’ve by no means emptied myself a lot in my entire life. I might hardly pedal any extra. It felt like there was zero power in my legs,” mentioned Kiesenhofer after her gold medal success.
“I couldn’t imagine it. Even once I crossed the road, it was like, ‘Is it completed now? Do I’ve to proceed driving?’ Unimaginable,” she added.
“I’ve actually sacrificed a lot for as we speak. I wasn’t anticipating to complete it off like that. I sacrificed all the pieces even for a top-15 place and now to get this, for the sacrifices, it’s simply such a reward, it’s unbelievable,” she added.
Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Photos
Silver medalist Netherlands’ Annemiek Van Vleuten (left), gold medalist Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer (center) and bronze medalist Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini (proper) have a good time on the rostrum in the course of the girls’s street race medal ceremony.
Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who completed third, was additionally shocked by the best way the race performed out.
I assumed that Holland had all the pieces of their arms however in the long run typically whenever you play ways an excessive amount of and also you suppose you’re the strongest, you lose the race,” mentioned Borghini, as she gained bronze for the second Olympics within the row.