- Richard Carapaz (ECU) wins gold in the men’s Olympic road bike race.
- In the sprint for silver, Wout van Aert (Belgium) beat the most popular favorite Tadej Pogacar (SLO).
- Mark Hershey is the top 25 Swiss. But he loses more than 6 minutes to the winner.
What a success for Richard Carapaz: The Ecuadorean won the road race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 28-year-old made the decision to go gold just 6km from the finish. Carapaz broke up with his short-term escape buddy Brandon McNulty (USA) and crossed the finish line first after 234 kilometers and over 6 hours at the Fuji International Speedway in Tokyo.
There was a quick enemy in the pursuit group. The silver medal went to Belgian Wout van Aert, who beat Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar by a very slim margin. The two were behind Carapaz 1:07 minutes.
Pogacar هجوم attack faded
Slovenian Pogacar wanted to make a turning point with an attack of about 40 kilometers before the finish line, which only Michael Woods (Kahn) and McNulty could follow. But unlike the Tour de France which he dominated, he was unable to open a large enough gap between himself and his rivals on the very steep incline to the Mikuni Pass.
After the top of the pass, Van Aert and the other favorites caught the ball again and entered the exciting final stage.
The Swiss only play a secondary role
The Swiss quartet around Mark Hershey, Gino Meder, Michael Scheer and Stefan Kung had to bury their medal ambitions early on. On the climb to the Mikuni Pass, four occurred. On the kilometers remaining to the end, the gap cannot be closed. Hershey was the best Swiss player in 25th place, but lost 6:20 minutes to Carapaz. Schär was 31, and Küng was 40. Mäder came in at number 74.
“Only the best can keep up. “It was very hot, and unfortunately that wasn’t enough for me,” Hershey said.
Legs weren’t enough
Kung’s conclusion went in a similar direction. “Today was like this day,” he said at the end: “If you had your legs, you were ahead, otherwise not.” A Torgau resident was not at all surprised that the three medal winners had already caused quite a stir at the Tour de France: “You usually have another gear when you get out of the Tour de France.” Kung is pinning his hopes on Wednesday’s time trial.
From Switzerland’s point of view, the only positive thing that can be said is that Carapaz, winner of the Tour de Suisse, won the gold. For Ecuador, this is the second Olympic victory in history: previously, only Cr Jefferson Perez was allowed to wear gold in Atlanta in 1996.
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