World champion cyclist Van Vleuten praises decision to postpone Olympic Games

Van Vleuten is the current UCI Road Race World Champion (PA Images)
19:16pm, Wed 25 Mar 2020
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Road Race World Champion Annemiek van Vleuten is pleased the Olympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed as she feels it allows athletes to concentrate on their own health.

The Dutch rider would have been one of the favourites for the road race in Japan this summer, but will now have to wait until 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Yet despite the obvious disappointment, Van Vleuten recognises in the wider scheme of things it is the right thing to do.

Speaking to Cycling News, she said: "For global health, it is better to postpone the Games. 

"[Holding the Games] puts pressure on athletes, if it were still happening, so maybe athletes would feel pressure and take risks to keep training, which would also not be good for the situation with the virus.

"Now athletes can focus, follow the [health] rules and they don't need to be stressed about the Olympics. People are already stressed about being inside [lockdown and self-distancing] and the whole situation with the virus. We don't need to be stressed about the Olympics anymore."

The cycling season has been thrown into disarray as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and it is not yet known when Van Vleuten will be able to race again.

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No announcement has yet been made about the Giro Rosa, which Van Vleuten won last year, so currently that remains the big race of the season at the end of June.