Joy and pain for Dutch as Van der Breggen wins gold

Holland's Anna van der Breggen won the gold medal with a smooth move after passing Abbott with the finish line in sight.

The Dutch Cycling Federation said on Twitter that she was "OK", and it was reported that she was conscious and taken to hospital.

Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali was leading that race when he crashed, breaking his collarbone.

Boulder's Mara Abbott finished four seconds behind the three medalists in the women's Olympic road race Sunday, getting passed by all three in the homestretch to finish fourth.

Ammemiek van Vleuten's dream was shattered.

Armitstead was fifth after her controversial lead-up to the Olympics, where she had to appeal after being banned for missing three doping tests.

"So after, Emma just said, 'Do it for Annemiek, ' and I said yeah, that's right".

The crash allowed Abbott to take the lead and she had an advantage of nearly 40 seconds as the descent flattened out, only to be denied in the finishing straight.

Abbott appeared to be home free for a gold medal once van Vleuten went down, with nobody near her on the course. "I realized I was at the front of the team, so I had to chase".

And the waif-like climber was left with nothing as Johansson took silver and Elise Longo Borghini of Italy claimed bronze.

The Americans missed the break and were forced to work hard to bring it back.

Moments later, footage showed van Vleuten laying motionless on the floor with paramedics surrounding her.

Van der Breggen, Johansson and third-place finisher Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy teamed up on the final flat stretch to catch Abbott, who had quit the sport in 2011 while struggling with anorexia.

"I wasn't comfortable holding her wheel and the pace she was holding on the descent", Abbott said, "and unfortunately she crashed". From that point on, though, the medal winners worked together and steadily closed on Abbott, passing her in a final frantic sprint to the finish line.

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