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2012 Olympic Games 2012

Date range:
July 28 - August 12, 2012

August 1, Olympic Men's Individual Time Trial: London 44km

Complete live report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Time for the men to have their final chance on the road in the 2013 Olympics. 37 men will tackle this 44km course, going for the gold.

  1. 13:13:36 BST

    It is now time for the guys to show what they can do in the race against the clock. They are off for 44km on an overcast day.

  2. 13:15:50 BST

    Most of the names here are well-known, but we do have a few “exotics”, who will be the first to take off, including riders from Morocco, Venezuela, Iran, Turkey and Brazil.

    In fact, the first rider to go off right now is Mouhcin Lahsaini of Morocco.

  3. 13:17:17 BST

    If you want to know who is starting when, check out the list of start times here.

  4. 13:19:45 BST

    The riders will be taking of at 1:30 intervals.

  5. 13:22:30 BST

    The first "big name" rider is now underway: Fumiyuki Beppu of Japan.

  6. 13:25:28 BST

    The  37 riders represent 28 different countries.  Seven countries have two representatives:  Kazakhstan, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Great Britian.

  7. 13:27:11 BST

    It is a rolling course, mainly through the Surrey countryside. The race starts and ends at historic Hampton Court Palace.

  8. 13:29:17 BST

    Hampton Court Palace was built by Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, in the early 1500s. When he fell out of favour with Henry VIII, the King took it over. The Palace now is cared for by a private charity and is open to the public.

  9. 13:31:26 BST

    Lars Boom of the Netherlands is ready to go. We already have such well-known riders as Lars Bak, Michael Albasini and Fabio Duarte on the road.

  10. 13:33:29 BST

    Boom is actually prologue specialist, so this is a tad long for him. He was a replacement in this race for Niki Terpstra.

  11. 13:35:14 BST

    Bradey Wiggins (Great Britain) is, of course, the top favourite here today. He absolutely dominated the time trials in the recent Tour de France, which he won.

  12. 13:37:23 BST

    Philippe Gilbert of Belgium is next up. He has not been able to repeat his super year of 2011 -- but it would have been amazing if he had done so.

    Next after him is the road race gold medal winner Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan.  We understand he has said this will be his last race ever.

  13. 13:39:14 BST

    There are four riders in this race who have also won the World time trial title. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) has in fact won that title four times), and Michael Rogers of Australia, who won it three times. And there are the two Germans, Bert Grabsch, who won in 2008, and current World champ Tony Martin.

  14. 13:40:10 BST

    Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal is riding for Canada.

    On the course:
    "It will be brutal. Slow roads. You have to stay on top of it for the whole ride. It's going to be horrible. There are some undulation and seams in the roads, there's some transitional stuff through the little villages. It beats you up. There are not a lot of consistent stretches of pavement. Depending on how the wind is, you really have to focus."
     

  15. 13:41:42 BST

    And more from Hesjedal, who has just departed:

    On who are the favourites:
    "Whoever has the best legs. There is not a whole lot of room to lose or gain on the technical side of things. Just ride. The good legs are going to come through for the medals."

    On his chances:
    "There are some pretty solid time trial specialists. My time trialling has improved, but that is relative to guys that I am competing against in stage races. I am just out here to ride the best I can and represent the country and everyone who supports me. I will leave it all out on the road. That's all I can do."

  16. 13:42:06 BST

    Boom leads at the first time check, but the times are still pretty close.

  17. 13:44:21 BST

    The Canadian coach is Gord Fraser, and he was aksed who the course favours.  “(Christopher) Froome (GBR), but I think that Philippe Gilbert (BEL) has got some good form, I just don't know how much time he has devoted to his time trial bike. If he has done a bit of homework and got a bit more aero and stuff, who knows, someone like that could really do a good ride. Jakob Fuglsang   (DEN) is another guy that could surprise but I think (Taylor) Phinney (USA) is the real joker."

  18. 13:46:38 BST

    Next up is Edvald Boasson Hagen,Norway's lone representative.

  19. 13:49:19 BST

    Former Olympic champion Jan Ullrich (road, not time trial) sees Wiggins as the favourite, or, as he put it, “good, better, Wiggins.”.  Writing for Eurosport.de, he called the Briton “the perfect time triallist.”

  20. 13:51:58 BST

    Some more big names coming up now, with the best-known being Michal Rogers of Australia. The three-time world TT champ takes off at 14:55:30.

    Lieuwe Westra wears number 13 -- upside down.

  21. 13:53:53 BST

    Lars Bak of Denmark has the best time at the 18.4km time check.

  22. 13:57:18 BST

    And another former World champ has taken to the course: Germany's Bert Grabsch.

  23. 13:59:51 BST

    Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel is on his way. Only seven more riders left to start. And so far none has yet finished.

  24. 14:00:20 BST

    Chris Froome is up next. How will he stand up to teammate Brad Wiggins today?

  25. 14:02:04 BST

    Speaking of Wiggins, he just got on his bike and is making his way to the start ramp. He takes off at 15:07.

  26. 14:03:54 BST

    Disaster for Luis Leon Sanchez. His chain jumps off immediately as he takes off.  He has to stop and wait for a new bike.

  27. 14:04:34 BST

    America's one and only hope for a medal today -- Taylor Phinney -- is next to go.

  28. 14:05:35 BST

    Only three riders left to start, but what riders they are!  Martin, Wiggins and Cancellara. Wouldn't suprise us to see those three in some combination as our podium.

  29. 14:06:25 BST

    German and World champion Tony Martin goes now. He is still fighting with that broken bone in his hand.

  30. 14:07:27 BST

    Bradley Wiggins! What can one say? Is there anyone at all who doesn't think he will win today?

  31. 14:09:08 BST

    And our last rider takes off: the fabulous Fabian Cancellara. Let's face it, he has had infinitely more bad luck this year than good luck. Surely it is time for his luck to change to good, for good.

  32. 14:12:09 BST

    Castroviejo (Spain) has the best time at the second time check, ahead of Boasson Hagen and Fuglsang.

  33. 14:13:14 BST

    Castroviejo has now caught his 90 second man, Hesjedal.

  34. 14:14:43 BST

    Two riders are in now, the first two riders to go. Tomas Gil Martinez of Venezuela is the current leader, with a time of 57:05.12.

  35. 14:15:05 BST

    Wow, are there lots of fans along the road! What a great sight!

  36. 14:16:41 BST

    The defending Olympic champion is Italy's Cancellara, who is riding today with difficulties. He crashed heavily on his right shoulder in Saturday's road race. His participation today was questionable for a while, but he has decided to go for it.

  37. 14:17:06 BST

    We hear that Martin is the fastest at the first time check, even ahead of Wiggins.

  38. 14:18:13 BST

    Brazilian Magno Prado Nazaret now has the best time at the finish, 55:50.77.

  39. 14:18:36 BST

    But that is topped by Beppu, in a time of 55:40.64.

  40. 14:20:20 BST

    Germany's Martin is also riding with an injury. He broke a bone in his hand during the Tour de France. He says, though, that it bothers him more during a road race than during the time trial.

  41. 14:22:24 BST

    The fans are cheering loudly for each and every rider, not just the locals.

    Bak sets a new best time at the finish, passing his 90n second man within sight of the finish line.

  42. 14:23:24 BST

    Cancellara is over five seoncds behind Martin at the first time check.

  43. 14:24:09 BST

    Froome now has the best time at the second time check.

  44. 14:25:21 BST


    The USA's Taylor Phinney has based his whole season on this race.  He spent the last six weeks training on a course he laid out near his home in Boulder, Colorado, which resembles today's course as closely as possible.

  45. 14:26:05 BST

    This is just really not Sanchez' day. Now he has punctured and Phinney sails right on past him.

  46. 14:27:33 BST

    Boom crosses the line in second place, nearly a minute behind Bak.

  47. 14:29:46 BST

    Here's what Michael Rogers had to say.

    On recovering from the road race and the Tour de France:
    "I was a bit tired after it (road race), and actually yesterday I was still quite tired. I think I really needed the road race (after the Tour de France). I've been quit lethargical during the (road) race until the last 100km, and obviously after such a race, you feel a bit tired again, but today I had good signs from my body."

    On his medal chances:
    "In the past, for the one-day time trials I'm always up around the mark, so I certainly hope to do a good ride. I feel fresh today. If I'm on a good day I think I can definitely medal."
     

  48. 14:31:04 BST

    Martin tops Froome's best time at the second time check, by more than 12 seconds. Wiggins will be there soon, and he now cracks Martin's time by 11 seconds.

  49. 14:31:40 BST

    Janez Brajkovic is the new leader, at 54:09.72.

  50. 14:33:13 BST

    Cancellara comes to the second time check as fourth, some 30 seconds down.

  51. 14:35:11 BST

    Here's some more from Rogers, who now leads at the third time check.

    On other time trial favourites:
    "There's going to be five or six guys. Bradley (Wiggins, GBR), he's probably a step above everyone at the moment, (Christopher) Froome (GBR) can be up there, let's see how Fabian (Cancellara, SUI) comes out after his crash. I think there's a bunch of guys that, on that day, can be around the medals."

    On the course:
    "I had a look at the circuit now. It's hard to see. It was still not a closed road, but that's the way it is. I like it (the course). It's fast. If I've got good legs it's a good course for me. The wind is going to be a little bit stronger than it is today, so there's obviously some parts where it's going to be a tail wind, so that's really fast. Genuinely we are going to see very high speed and that's interesting because when there are high speeds there usually are going to be large time gaps as well."

  52. 14:38:05 BST

    Rogers is the only Australian in the race, but he wasn't supposed to be.  Cadel Evans decided a day or two ago not to race the time trial. This is what Rogers had to say about it:

    "He's a bit tired really. He obviously knows himself better than anyone else. You know in a one-day time trial, if you're of that few percentages. It's all about freshness in a race like this. It's different to a Tour (de France) time trial, where you're carrying that fatigue and the guys with a big background like Cadel can still perform well even if they're tired. In a one-day time trial, that's a different story."
     

  53. 14:39:09 BST

    Spain is now leading the race, with Castroviejo putting in a final time of 53:29.36.

  54. 14:42:01 BST

    At the  29km marker, Martin sets a new best time, over 19 seconds better than Froome.

  55. 14:43:37 BST

    And Wiggins blasts that time as well, 22 seconds faster than Martin.

  56. 14:45:25 BST

    One last thought from Rogers, about the weather:

    "I just hope it's going to be the same for everyone. I've done so many time trials where it's rained for part of the pack so, I don't really mind what kind of conditions there are, as long as they're the same for everyone. You hate to see so many years of work thrown away because the weather conditions are different."

     

  57. 14:46:05 BST

    Cancellara fifth at that time check, 1:20 down on Wiggins.

  58. 14:48:10 BST

    Matthew White, Australian coach, had his say as well.

    On the favourites for the time trial race:
    "Michael (Rogers) is feeling good and he's one of the guys in the hunt for a medal. Along with the two Brits (Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, GBR), Taylor Phinney (USA), Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Tony Martin (GER), Gustav Larsson (SWE) and Marco Pinotti (ITA). I can't see anyone getting a medal outside of those guys."

    On Michael Rogers, who finished fourth at Athens 2004 and fifth at Beijing 2008:
    "He's been in the mix for the last two Olympics. The Olympics are the cream of the cream. If he shows the form he had in the Dauphine (in June) he's definitely in for a very big chance for winning it. Physically he has exited the Tour de France very well."
     

  59. 14:48:57 BST

    Rogers comes to the line in a tie of 52:51, which is 37 seconds faster than the former best time.

  60. 14:50:31 BST

    And more from White:

    On Cadel Evans' decision to not start the race:
    "Cadel is obviously disappointed. He ruled himself out of the time trial due to health reasons. He said he hasn't recovered as good as he thought. It was a mutual decision not to start the time trial."

    On filming the course before the race:
    "We've already reconned the course one year ago, but there were still cars on the side of the road, so we wanted to see it a bit more closer to the actual race conditions. We can see the lines through corners a little bit better under the road closure than on normal traffic conditions."

  61. 14:51:27 BST

    Grabsch currently second at the end, 26 seconds down.

  62. 14:52:27 BST

    Now Froome comes to the finish and sets a new best time -- at least for the moment. He breaks the 52 minute mark, with a time of 51:47.

  63. 14:53:28 BST

    Jim Miller is the USA Cycling vice president of athletics. He gave some opinions, too.

    On hopes for Taylor Phinney (USA) in the men's individual time trial:
    "Yes, he's podium material. A top-five would be spectacular, so any time you can get into the top five, you can certainly start to hunt medals. So who knows what happens at the front of the race.",

    On performances during the men's and women's road races over the weekend:
    "We had two really good road races. We played perfect tactics. Both teams executed the tactics. They were prepared. It's a shame to walk away without one medal, if not two. The positive is that we had two really good teams that came to race and that's just how it plays out sometimes. PHINNEY was fourth and Shelley (OLDS, USA) punctured in the winning move with 25km to go. There were four in that group and a medal would have almost been a guarantee. That's bike racing."
     

  64. 14:55:13 BST

    Taylor Phinney of the USA can be said to have Olympic blood in his veins.  Both of his parents have won Olympic medals. His mom, Connie Carpenter Phinney, won the women's road race in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.  She also competed in the 1972 Winter Olympcs, in speed skate, as a 14 year old.  His dad, Davis Phinney, won bronze in 1984 in the men's 100 km team time trial.

     

  65. 14:56:28 BST

    Only two km for Wiggins before he is crowned the new Olympic time trial king.

  66. 14:57:44 BST

    Martin wobbles through a final corner, as Phinney heads to the finish line, 50 seconds down in second place.

    But Martin comes in at 51:21.

  67. 14:58:06 BST

    Martin has the lead for a few seconds, as Wiggins is up out of the saddle on his way to the win.

  68. 14:58:34 BST

    Will he crack the 51 minute mark?

     

  69. 14:58:58 BST

    Yes!  He crosses the line in 50:39.54, 42 seconds better than Martin.

  70. 14:59:14 BST

    We are not done, though. Cancellara is still on the course.

  71. 15:00:11 BST

    Cancellara finishes fourth, 30.83 down.

  72. 15:01:00 BST

    Oh sorry, we were too quick there.  Cancellara is still underway.

  73. 15:02:35 BST

    The four-time World Champion is in fact seventh, with a time of 52:53.71.

  74. 15:03:03 BST

    Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins, on his seventh Olympic medal and his fourth gold!

  75. 15:06:23 BST

    To recap:

    1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 50:39:54



    2 Tony Martin (Germany) 51:21:54



    3 Chris Froome (Great Britain) 51:47:87



    4 Taylor Phinney (USA) 52:38:07



    5 Marco Pinotti (Italy) 52:49:28


  76. 15:07:49 BST

    Congratulations to all, not only those with medals but all those who were here.

    That's it for the road cycling events at the 2012 London Olympics. We will continue to cover the track and mountain biking events, so stay with us.