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Van Vleuten had been a major pre-race favorite after a strong season that has seen her dominate with victories at the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, and the recent Challenge by La Vuelta.
The Dutchwoman was in the second group of riders that rolled down the start ramp. She went out hard as she targeted the early time of Grace Brown, but she quickly realized that her effort was not enough as she was already 26 seconds down on the Australian at the first time check.
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Her deficit would only increase as the course went on and she would ultimately finish over 90 seconds behind Brown. It was enough to get her into the provisional top-three, but that would slip away with later riders beating her and she was 1:43 behind the eventual winner Ellen van Dijk.
After having a chance to process the result while sat in the hotseat, Van Vleuten didn’t have an answer for what had happened.
“I had the feeling it was possible today and I went out of the gate quite hard but I was already behind at the intermediate check so I knew already that I had a shit day. Afterward, when I look at my power I could see that I didn’t have a good day,” she said.
“I had the feeling that I was having a good day and then at the intermediate, it was not good. I don’t have so much to say. I had a shit day so we don’t need to analyze it. It just wasn’t possible today.”
Van Vleuten will only have a couple of days to recover and she will be hoping the bad day was a one-off as she is set to contest the mixed relay Wednesday before turning her focus onto the road race next weekend.