Van der Breggen wins thrilling women's road race

Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen claimed gold after a thrilling climax to the Olympic women's road race on Sunday.

Van der Breggen exclaims after winning the women's road race on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen produced a perfectly-timed burst to snatch Olympic gold in a dramatic climax to the women's road race alongside the Copacabana on Sunday.

Her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten was on course for victory but suffered a horrific-looking crash on the descent of the Vista Chinesa climb with around 10km left.

American Mara Abbott was left as the sole leader on the flat run in to the finish line but with victory tantalisingly close she was caught by van der Breggen, Emma Johansson of Sweden and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini.

Johansson took the silver with Longo Borghini third.

It was the second day running that the Rio course produced a spectacular spectacle and the second day a crash affected the outcome of the race. On Saturday, Italy's Vincenzo Nibali lost control in almost the same spot as Van Vleuten and broke both collar bones.

Horrific crash

Dutch rider Anna van Vleuten was conscious after an horrific-looking crash as she lost control of her bike while leading in the latter stages of the race.

Van Vleuten was leading the race with about 10km to go when she skidded on a steep descent and smashed head-first into the road and a stone kerb.

She laid motionless while help arrived but the Dutch Cycling Federation later tweeted that she was “conscious and ok". Van Vleuten's compatriot Anna van der Breggen won the women's race. On Saturday, Italy's Vincenzo Nibali broke a collar bone when he crashed on the same descent while leading the men's race.