All 421.5km came down to three cyclists in the final 500m and Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet made the final push to win the gold in the men’s road race. Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang finished just moments behind Van Avermaet to take home the silver medal. Poland’s Rafal Majka will take home the bronze.
Italy’s Vincezo Nibali, considered a favorite, went down in the final descent opening the door for Van Avermaet, Fuglsang and Majka to battle for the gold. Majka lost some steam and Van Avermaet took over.
From the grueling climbs and descents to the rough cobblestone stretches, he course took its toll on plenty of cyclists. Nibali, Australia’s Richie Porte, and Geriant Thomas riding ahead for the strong team from Great Britain all lost control in the final two laps.
The cobblestone stretch of the Grumari Circuit proved to be especially arduous leading to several mechanical issues and water bottles popping out of their cages.
Another favorite, 2016 Tour de France winner Britain’s Chris Froome, finished a disappointing 12th. Froome called Rio’s course “savage” after riding it earlier this week.
During the race, a bomb squad conducted a controlled explosion of an unattended bag near the finish line of the road race course. No one was immediately evacuated, and it did not appear that anyone was injured. The race continued and was not rerouted.