RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten suffered three small fractures in her vertebrae after a horrific-looking crash as she lost control of her bike while leading in the latter stages of the Olympic women's cycling road race on Sunday.
Van Vleuten was leading the race with around 15km to go when she skidded near the bottom of 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 (KNWU) later tweeted that she was "conscious and ok".
It later said she had been taken to hospital with back and head injuries but was talking and moving.
"Annemiek has severe concussion and three small fracture particles in her lumbar spine," a statement said. "She will remain in hospital for 24 hours at I.C.
"She is conscious and talking."
Van Vleuten's compatriot Anna van der Breggen won the women's race.
On Saturday Italy's Vincenzo Nibali broke both his collar bones when he crashed on the same descent while leading the men's race.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Alison Williams/Greg Stutchbury)