That’s what you do once you assume you have won Olympic gold — besides she hadn’t.
“When I crossed the line, I thought I had won,” mentioned silver medalist Van Vleuten.
Kiesenhofer gave the efficiency of a lifetime to eclipse a discipline of massive names and win the race, ending in just below 4 hours.
Kiesenhofer spent a lot of the remainder of the race thus far forward of the chasing pack that she was out of sight of the different cyclists.
Cyclists race with out earpieces at the Olympics and that performed an element in Van Vleuten’s confusion, in response to the 38-year-old Dutch lady.
“This is an instance (of what occurs) for those who journey an essential race like this with out communication. All World Tour races have communication, and now it is the three of us standing right here and questioning who has truly won,” 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 throughout the street race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“I’m actually pleased 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 at this time,” mentioned Van Vleuten.
“My purpose was to be at my greatest ever degree right here, and I believe I nailed that. It’s not the end result we had been hoping for, however for me personally, I believe I did a very good race.”
‘Zero power in my legs’
Kiesenhofer, who would not at the moment have an expert contract, solely took up the sport in 2014, turning skilled three years later.
According to the Olympics web site, the Austrian mentioned her ambition was “to compete at the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.” She’s definitely accomplished that and extra.
Kiesenhofer is not simply an achieved bicycle owner — she has grasp’s diploma in arithmetic from the University of Cambridge, England and a PhD in utilized arithmetic from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.
“My legs had 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 could not imagine it. Even after I crossed the line, it was like, ‘Is it accomplished now? Do I’ve to proceed driving?’ Incredible,” she added.
“I’ve actually sacrificed a lot for at this time. I wasn’t anticipating to complete it off like that. I sacrificed all the things even for a top-15 place and now to get this, for the sacrifices, it is simply such a reward, it is unimaginable,” she added.
Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who completed third, was additionally shocked by the approach the race performed out.
I thought that Holland had all the things of their palms however in the finish generally once you play techniques an excessive amount of and you assume you might be the strongest, you lose the race,” mentioned Borghini, as she won bronze for the second Olympics in the row.