By Thomas Dodd
- Briton Chris Froome takes Bronze in men’s road time trial
- Swiss Fabian Cancellara wins gold ahead of Tom Dumoulin
- Kristin Armstrong takes third successive gold in women’s event, Brit Emma Pooley 14th
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Chris Froome continued his successful summer by adding an Olympic time trial bronze medal to his Tour de France triumph.
Great Britain’s number one, who finished third in the same event at London 2012, had to battle hard in the final half of the 55km course to ensure his place on the podium.
Swiss time trial legend Fabian Cancellara rolled back the years to re-capture the title he won at the 2008 Beijing games, leaving Dutchman Tom Dumoulin to take silver – more than three quarters of a minute behind.
Late entrant Geraint Thomas put in an impressive ride to place ninth and beat some riders far more experienced in the discipline against the clock.
Usually a slow starter, Froome found himself several seconds adrift of early leader Rohan Dennis of Australia at the first time check.
Cancellera was also behind but unlike the three-time Tour de France champion the man known as ‘Spartacus’ dominated the tarmacked arena from there on in, blitzing the mountain ascent to overturn the deficit and add interest.
When first Dumoulin and then Froome couldn’t make the inroads by the final time check the Swiss merely had to sit back and wait to be crowned a deserving champion.
Dennis lost his potential podium spot when he was forced to change bikes in the final few kilometres, though it was Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo who suffered the biggest heartbreak in fourth.
German time trial specialist Tony Martin and defending world time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus both struggled in the damp and changeable conditions, falling well short of the their former glories.
London 2012 Gold medallist Bradley Wiggins was not in Rio to defend his title he won under the watchful eye of Hampton Court Palace four years ago.
In the women’s event, which had been contested earlier in the day along a similar but shorter course, American Kristin Armstrong won her third successive Gold in a race she has now not been beaten in at Olympic level since 2004.
Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya took silver with an effort five seconds slower than Armstrong’s and six seconds quicker than the time of Road Race winner Anna van der Breggen – who claimed bronze.
Great Britain’s sole representative Emma Pooley, who like Armstrong came out of retirement to race in Rio, could only manage a disappointing 14th place over two minutes down.
But Wednesday was all about those riding into the twilight of their careers showing the sun hasn’t set just yet, as 42-year-old Armstrong was followed by 35-year-old Cancellara in claiming the ultimate Olympic prize.
Men’s Olympic Road Time Trial Result (Rio, 55km)
1. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 1hour12minutes15seconds
2. Tom Dumoulin (Holland) +47s
3. Chris Froome (Great Britain) +1m02s
4. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) +1m06s
5. Rohan Dennis (Australia) +1m10s
6. Maciej Bodnar (Poland) +1m50s
7. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) +2m00s
8. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spain) +2m06s
9. Geraint Thomas (Great Britain) +2m37s
10. Primoz Roglic (Slovakia) +2m40s
Women’s Olympic Road Time Trial Result (Rio, 30km)
1. Kristin Armstrong (USA) 44m26seconds
2. Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) +05s
3. Anna van der Breggen (Holland) +11s
4. Ellen van Dijk (Holland) +22s
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) +25s
6. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) +28s
7. Tara Whitten (Canada) +35s
8. Lisa Brennauer (German) +56s
9. Katrin Garfoot (Australia) +1m09s
10. Evelyn Stevens (USA) +1m34s
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