Awful mix-up leaves silver medallist 'gutted'

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Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten threw her arms up successful the air, her look a representation of ecstasy and joy.

That's what you bash erstwhile you deliberation you've won Olympic golden -- but she hadn't.

That honour went to Austria's Anna Kiesenhofer, who capitalised connected her rival's disorder successful the Tokyo 2020 Olympic women's roadworthy contention connected Sunday to unafraid a daze win.

"When I crossed the line, I thought I had won," said metallic medalist Van Vleuten.

Kiesenhofer gave the show of a beingness to eclipse a tract of large names and triumph the race, finishing successful conscionable nether 4 hours.

MORE: Full Tokyo Olympics medal tally, docket and results

The 30-year-old Austrian broke distant from the starring radical much than 40 kilometres from the end, holding her ain connected a demanding 147-kilometre people successful the aggravated vigor to triumph Austria's archetypal cycling golden medal since 1896.

Kiesenhofer spent overmuch of the remainder of the contention truthful acold up of the chasing battalion that she was retired of show of the different cyclists.

Cyclists contention without earpieces astatine the Olympics and that played a portion successful Van Vleuten's confusion, according to the 38-year-old Dutch woman.

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"This is an illustration (of what happens) if you thrust an important contention similar this without communication.

"All World Tour races person communication, and present it's the 3 of america lasting present and wondering who has really won," added Van Vleuten, referring to teammates Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen.

"I'm gutted astir that, of course," said Van Vleuten.

Annemiek van Vleuten celebrates arsenic she crosses the enactment successful the women's roadworthy contention astatine the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty)

If she was gutted, Van Vleuten was besides pleased to person travel distant with a medal aft she suffered a fearfulness clang during the roadworthy contention astatine the 2016 Olympic Games successful Rio.

"I'm truly arrogant of the medal, due to the fact that I did not person an Olympic medal. It's besides a metallic medal with a radiance connected it, due to the fact that I felt ace bully today," said Van Vleuten.

"My extremity was to beryllium astatine my champion ever level here, and I deliberation I nailed that. It's not the effect we were hoping for, but for maine personally, I deliberation I did a truly bully race."

Kiesenhofer, who doesn't presently person a nonrecreational contract, lone took up the athletics successful 2014, turning nonrecreational 3 years later.

According to the Olympics website, the Austrian said her ambition was "to vie astatine the 2020 Olympics Games successful Tokyo."

She's surely done that and more.

Kiesenhofer isn't conscionable an accomplished cyclist -- she has master's grade successful mathematics from the University of Cambridge, England and a PhD successful applied mathematics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia successful Barcelona, Spain.

Annemiek van Vleuten of Team Netherlands victor of silver, Anna Kiesenhofer of Team Austria victor of golden and Elisa Longo Borghini of Team Italy victor of bronze competing connected Women's Road Race astatine the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty)

"My legs were wholly empty. I person ne'er emptied myself truthful overmuch successful my full life. I could hardly pedal immoderate more. It felt similar determination was zero vigor successful my legs," said Kiesenhofer aft her golden medal success.

"I couldn't judge it. Even erstwhile I crossed the line, it was like, 'Is it done now? Do I person to proceed riding?' Incredible," she added.

"I person truly sacrificed truthful overmuch for today. I wasn't expecting to decorativeness it disconnected similar that. I sacrificed everything adjacent for a top-15 spot and present to get this, for the sacrifices, it's conscionable specified a reward, it's incredible," she added.

Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini, who finished third, was besides amazed by the mode the contention played out.

"I thought that Holland had everything successful their hands but successful the extremity sometimes erstwhile you play tactics excessively overmuch and you deliberation you are the strongest, you suffer the race," said Borghini, arsenic she won bronze for the 2nd Olympics successful the row.

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