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Cyclist suffers broken arm during arrest at South African park

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Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is among the cyclists expressing outrage after Nicholas Dlamini’s arrest in a South African park turned violent, leaving the NTT Pro Cycling rider with a broken arm.

“Apparently @nich_dlamini “injured himself”. Appalling @TableMountainNP,” Froome said on Twitter.

The “injured himself” comment was a reference to the official statement from Table Mountain National Park authorities, who say Dlamini went through a gate without paying a required fee or showing a permit.

Video of the incident shows Dlamini struggling with rangers, who then turn around and ask fellow cyclist Donovan Le Cok to stop recording the incident.

“It was very disturbing,” Le Cok told VeloNews. “The ranger just man-handled him, twisting his arm up behind his head. You can hear it breaking. His arm was sticking in the wrong direction, and they threw him into the back of the vehicle.”

Le Cok also told VeloNews that park rangers are “notorious for being aggressive.”

“No matter what happened before this footage was taken,it can hardly warrant this kind of senseless violence by a trained official,” the cycling group Table Mountain Bikers said on Twitter.

NTT Pro Cycling, which recently rebranded from its former name as Team Dimension Data, released a statement confirming Dlamini suffered a broken left humerus.

“I was both devastated and appalled to see the video of Nicholas on social media,” team principal Douglas Ryder said. “To watch a young man who I know so well in such unnecessary distress made me feel sick, to be honest. The way in which he was treated is simply not acceptable.”

The team said Dlamini has traveled to Tokyo to see the Olympic course in hopes of being selected for the South African team in 2020.

Dlamini made his Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta a España this year. The 24-year-old cyclist has won the mountain classification in three stage races — the 2017 Giro Ciclistico d’Italia (not the Grand Tour Giro d’Italia but a shorter event for young riders), the 2018 Tour Down Under and the 2018 Tour of Britain.

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Hannah Roberts, U.S. star in new Olympic event, claims another world title

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Her event may be new to the Olympics, but Hannah Roberts is well established as one of the U.S.’ top gold-medal hopes for the Tokyo Games.

Roberts, 18, won her second world title in three years in BMX freestyle, a judged cycling event debuting at the Olympics next summer.

The Michigan native scored 90 points for the win in Chengdu, China, on Sunday, becoming the first woman to land a 360 tailwhip in competition. It capped a dominant season for Roberts, who previously won all three World Cup events.

She goes into the Olympic year leading a deep U.S. squad. Roberts earned bronze at the 2018 Worlds as part of a podium sweep with Perris Benegas and Angie Marino. A different U.S. man also earned a medal at all three editions of the world championships, which began in 2017.

Roberts ascended to the top of her high-flying sport after fracturing her T4 vertebra in a crash off a six-foot ramp when she was 10 years old. She was in a back brace for a month and unsure whether her passion for BMX would return.

“It was surprising to me that I wanted to get back on the bike,” she said, according to USA Cycling. “There was a lot of talking myself into it, but I was going crazy not being on my bike. Once back on the bike I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Roberts could become the youngest U.S. Olympic cycling medalist since 1912 and the first teenage woman to win an Olympic cycling title from any country.

The first Olympic BMX events debuted at the 2008 Beijing Games. Those were the more traditional men’s and women’s races over undulating courses.

In BMX freestyle, athletes take 60-second runs on park courses with ramps and obstacles to show style and tricks. They are judged on categories including difficulty, originality, execution and overall flow.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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Annemiek van Vleuten wins world road race title with solo 65-mile attack

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Annemiek van Vleuten, four days after being denied a third straight world time trial title, was determined to win her first road race crown. The Dutchwoman broke away from the peloton with 65 miles left in Saturday’s 92-mile race and rode solo to the finish in Yorkshire, Great Britain.

Van Vleuten held off countrywoman and defending champion Anna van der Breggen by 2 minutes, 15 seconds after more than four hours in the saddle. Australian Amanda Spratt took bronze. Full results are here.

American phenom Chloe Dygert Owen, who on Tuesday beat the dominant Dutch team for the time trial title, attempted to chase down van Vleuten with about 30 miles left.

But she could not get closer than 1:49 at any time check before being caught by the other chasers and ending up fourth.

Instead, van Vleuten earned her biggest career road race win, three years after a horrific crash in the event at the Rio Olympics. She suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped into a ditch. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course in Brazil.

Worlds conclude with the men’s road race on Sunday.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships TV Schedule

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