TechPowered By

More tech

2012 Olympic Games 2012

Date range:
July 28 - August 12, 2012

July 28, Olympic Men's Road Race: London 250km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

The London 2012 Olympic Games men's road race.

  1. 250km remaining from 250km

    10:00:36 BST

    Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The 144 starters are lined up on the Mall, where the sun has broken through the early morning cloud, with temperatures set to rise during the afternoon.

  2. 10:02:51 BST

    UCI president Pat McQuaid flags the field away to raucous cheers. A combination of aggressive ticket pricing elsewhere and the host nation's recent cycling successes have will have contributed richly to the huge crowds that have gathered in London to see the peloton off.

  3. 10:04:54 BST

    The British and Spanish teams are sitting on the front in these early kilometres, but the pace is processional for now. For a full list of starters click

    here

    .


  4. 10:09:29 BST

    Nicolas Roche (Ireland) and Alejandro Valverde (Spain) are chatting at the rear of the peloton in these early stages, with Roche taking a glance up the road to see if the attacking has started yet.


  5. 10:11:39 BST

    Ryder Hesjedal is the lone Canadian rider in today's field and the Giro d'Italia winner knows that he will have his work cut out to make an impact on this course.

  6. 10:14:54 BST

    While Hesjedal ploughs a lone furrow, his Garmin-Sharp teammate David Millar is part of a strong British contingent where humility, it seems, is not part of the vocabulary.

    "There isn't a team as strong as us," Millar said. "I think that every team that starts knows that there isn't a team as strong as us and everyone is expecting us to control the race. And we have to. We announced we're riding for Cav, we've made it public, we've almost pointed ball park, Babe Ruth style, in how we're going to do it."

  7. 10:15:57 BST

    Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, runner-up Chris Froome and Ian Stannard are the men who are joining Millar in trying to control affairs for Mark Cavendish, the pre-race favourite.


  8. 240km remaining from 250km

    10:17:52 BST

    Jakob Fuglsang drops back to the team car to deposit his arm warmers. To date, the temperature, rather than the pace, has risen.


  9. 10:19:10 BST

    Speaking before the start, Fuglsang explained that his Danish team would be focused primarily on ensuring Matti Breschel remains in contention and part of a reduced leading group. "For sure Matti is our best chance for a medal, if he is going well on the circuit we will work for him," he said. "There has been a lot of talk that Box Hill is not so difficult, so there are a lot of teams who will want to make it very hard going up on every lap. It is going to be full gas every time."

  10. 10:21:38 BST

    The pace remains remarkably sedate as the peloton negotiates its way out of south-west London. Indeed, a fair chunk of the peloton has decided that now is as good a time as any to take a natural break. It must be difficult to focus on the task in hand with spectators eagerly photographing your every move, but these are professionals.

  11. 10:23:07 BST

    As the peloton entres Richmond Park, we catch our first glimpse of Mark Cavendish, who is tucked comfortably on David Millar's wheel.


  12. 10:27:07 BST

    As the road narrows, Bernhard Eisel (Austria) almost gets squeezed off. He dismounts to sort a mechanical problem, but at this pace, he should be quickly back in the safety of the peloton.


  13. 10:28:15 BST

    Speaking to Laura Weislo before the start, Eisel said that his aim for the early part of the day was simply to follow. "I will be spending some energy to keep it together," he said. "If Fabian Cancellara goes, I can't follow him... Sagan can do just about everything. Denmark, Switzerland all have strong teams. There are big teams that want to keep it together for a sprint, and then smaller teams that want to make it hard. There are going to be alliances of teams with similiar ambitions. I think it will be a sprint of about 40 riders."

  14. 230km remaining from 250km

    10:32:41 BST

    The first attack of the day has arrived thanks to Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands), with Borut Bozic (Slovenia) for company. The pair have a small gap over the peloton, but there seem to be plenty of willing chasers behind.

  15. 10:34:34 BST

    Westra and Bozic are soon brought to heel but their acceleration has injected a palpable dollop of urgency into the occasion, The peloton is now strung out in a single line, and it seems only a matter of time before the day's early break forms.


  16. 10:36:10 BST

    Stuart O'Grady (Australia) has brought a 12-man group clear of the peloton. From the aerial shot, there appears to be a decent mix of countries involved.

  17. 10:38:25 BST

    Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium), Marco Pinotti (Italy) and Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan) are also in this move, which has a gap of around 20 seconds over the peloton as they come through Bushy Park.

  18. 10:40:39 BST

    Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain), Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands) and Tim Duggan (USA) also feature in this group, which has quickly settled into a smooth double pace line.

  19. 10:47:40 BST

    Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium), Marco Pinotti (Italy), Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan), Denis Menchov (Russia), Stuart O’Grady (Australia), Tim Duggan (USA), Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Michael Schar (Switzerland), Alexander Kristoff (Norway) and Sungbaek Park (Korea) are the men up the road, and they have a sizeable advantage over the Great Britain-led peloton.


  20. 33km remaining from 250km

    10:49:03 BST

    Interesting to note that Bradley Wiggins is the man who is leading the peloton, which is over two minutes down on the escapees.

  21. 10:53:43 BST

    At the Copenhagen world championships last year, the British team was able to spend the majority of the day on the front end of the peloton, but with just four men to marshall affairs here, and on a significantly more difficult course, they will want some allies before the day is out. There are still over 200 kilometres left to race.


  22. 11:00:07 BST

    Cadel Evans makes his way back up to the peloton after a mechanical problem alongisde his BMC teammate Taylor Phinney. Meanwhile, David Millar sets the pace for Britain on the front.

  23. 208km remaining from 250km

    11:01:45 BST

    London 2012's on-screen graphics inform us that the gap between the break and the "rear of the peloton" is 4:20. It would be infinitely more useful to have the gap to the front of the peloton, but no matter - it's a decent advantage for a very solid and cohesive breakaway group.

  24. 11:02:41 BST

    It seems as though information on time gaps has been difficult to come by out on the road. Without radio earpieces, Stuart O'Grady has made a number of overtures to the commissaire, presumably to get some idea of his group's lead over the bunch.

  25. 11:04:52 BST

    Not surprisingly, Mickaël Bourgain was the first man to abandon the race. The Frenchman was only included in Laurent Jalabert's line-up to allow him take part in the keirin on the track later in the Games.

  26. 11:06:32 BST

    The television motorbike, which had been drifting very, very close indeed to the front of the peloton has been shooed away lest Millar and Wiggins gain any aerodynamic benefit.

  27. 11:07:33 BST

    The British quintet have received a bit of relieft from an unlikely source, as Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) comes to the front of the bunch and puts in a turn.

  28. 11:10:55 BST

    Kiryienka has his sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich's interests to think of, but it is interesting that, as yet, Andre Greipel's German teammates have shown no inclination to contribute to the chase effort. A lesson learned from Copenhagen perhaps?

  29. 199km remaining from 250km

    11:15:32 BST

    Michael Schar (Switzerland) has been very unrelenting in his efforts on the front of the breakaway group. The aim for the Swiss team will be to make the race as difficult as possible and then see if Fabian Cancellara has the wherewithal to punch clear in the finale. If Cancellara is to win here, of course, he'll have to race with the cunning of the man who won Milan-San Remo in 2008 rather than the generosity of the man who finished second in the same race in 2012.

  30. 11:16:47 BST

    In his 6th Olympic Games, Stuart O'Grady is very much the senior citizen of his breakaway group, and he appears to be the man dictated terms to his companions, ensuring that everyone does his share of the work.

  31. 11:18:47 BST

    Kiryienka's contribution at the front has helped to stabilise the break's lead at around the 4-minute mark.

  32. 11:20:56 BST

    Ian Stannard has dropped back to fill stuff as many bidons as possible down his skinsuit. It could be a long day of chasing for the British team. The likes of Tom Boonen, Peter Sagan, Matt Goss, Andre Greipel and Fabian Cancellara will be very pleased with how things have unfolded thus far.

  33. 190km remaining from 250km

    11:25:58 BST

    The roads are decidedly narrower and more rugged as the break reaches Shere. The peloton is spread across the road as it tackles a surprisingly sharp ramp.

  34. 11:28:30 BST

    Sungbaek Park had appeared to be struggling 10 kilometres back, but the Korean has since recovered and remains comfortably part of the lead group. O'Grady and Schar are the men injecting the greatest urgency when he hits the front, while Denis Menchov is pedalling very smoothly.

  35. 11:31:05 BST

    Some lengthy consultation among the British riders as they learn that the gap has stretched out to almost five minutes. Millar drops back to have a word with Andre Greipel, but for now the Germans are more than happy to keep a watching brief.

  36. 11:34:10 BST

    The British squad appear to have opted to call off their pursuit for now, as they swing away from the front. It would have been a big ask to control the race for almost 250 kilometres with just five riders, and it will be fascinating to see if anyone else takes up the baton or if the leading twelve's advantage will stretch out still further. The game of bluff and counter bluff could be about to begin in earnest.

  37. 11:35:01 BST

    The 12 leaders are almost at Dorking and the entry to the Box Hill circuit.

  38. 183km remaining from 250km

    11:37:06 BST

    The break's lead currently stands at 4:35 and after a very brief hiatus, David Millar is back on the front of the bunch. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali drops back for a word with the team car.

  39. 11:39:44 BST

    Speaking before the start, British manager Dave Brailsford said that he expects some manner of brinksmanship as the sprinters' teams figure who is responsible for reeling in the early break. "There are certain teams who want a bunch sprint, and it’s up to the other teams to stop us having a bunch sprint," he said. "There’s the intrigue. It’s a very, very long race. They’ll be attacking early but that doesn’t always work either so it will be a game of intrigue this one, for sure." Intriguing.

  40. 11:42:42 BST

    Timmy Duggan leads the escapees as they approach the Box Hill circuit for the first time, with a lead of in excess of 5 minutes.

  41. 11:44:18 BST

    Park sets the tempo at the bottom of Box Hill as the break feels its way up the first of nine ascents of the climb.


  42. 11:45:50 BST

    Marco Pinotti looks comfortable at the rear of the break as he looks for the time gap from the commissaire. "The favorite is Cavendish, but many riders have nothing to lose," Pinotti said before the start.

  43. 11:49:04 BST

    • Crash

    A crash in the main field, with a number of riders on the ground, including Amir Zargari (Iran), Manuel Rodas (Guatemala) and Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania). On first glance, it doesn't appear as though any of the main contenders were caught up in the spill.

  44. 11:50:11 BST

    Reports reaching us that Francisco Ventoso (Spain) was among the fallers, but he seems to have remounted and rejoined the peloton quickly.

  45. 11:51:23 BST

    As the main peloton hits Box Hill, the British team are again on the front en masse, with Chris Froome and David Millar dictating the tempo.

  46. 11:55:02 BST

    5:27 was the gap between the break and the Froome-led peloton at the top of the first climb of Box Hill.

  47. 11:57:04 BST

    A crucial moment in the race - the German squad has relented and begun to contribute manpower to the pursuit of the break. Tony Martin sets the pace on the head of the peloton.

  48. 11:59:17 BST

    For now, the Germans are not committing numbers to the pursuit, with Martin and Bert Grabsch taking more of an observational role, sitting directly behind the British team.

  49. 12:03:34 BST

    The breakaway group is continuing to collaborate smoothly and continuing to maintain its advantage over the peloton.

  50. 12:06:32 BST

    Bert Grabsch is putting in regular turns on the front of the peloton alongside Cavendish's four teammates, but sensibly, the Germans are not fully committed to the chase effort just yet.

  51. 165km remaining from 250km

    12:08:28 BST

    Meanwhile, Lieuwe Westra is setting the tempo as the break hits Box Hill for the second time. For riders and journalists alike, information on time gaps is not easy to come by, but we understand that the break still has a lead in excess of five minutes.

  52. 12:12:07 BST

    Tony Martin (Germany) is now leading the peloton, with Froome, Millar, Wiggins, Stannard and Cavendish lined up on his wheel. Behind them, Germany's Greipel, Grabsch, John Degenkolb and Marcel Sieberg are gathered to keep a close eye on proceedings.

  53. 12:14:06 BST

    There's been no sign of Peter Sagan to date, but the Slovak is safely in the main peloton. Although he has no teammates with him in the race today, Sagan was bullish about his chances before the start: "I will see how the race develops. It's a one-day race and anything can happen. I do not have any teammates so I can follow the race and react to the other teams. It can be a sprint, it can be a breakaway. I must be ready."

     

  54. 12:16:38 BST

    Chris Froome has upped the pace slightly on the climb but he is also attempting to maintain a steady tempo, mindful that sharp changes in rhythm would only draw the sting out of Mark Cavendish's legs.

  55. 12:22:53 BST

    The escapees are on the fast, swooping descent of Box Hill, while Millar sets the pace in the main field behind.

  56. 12:24:26 BST

    The peloton is strung out in a long line under the impetus of the British chase. There are still seven laps of this Box Hill circuit to come, plus a 40km-long run-in to the line at the Mall.

  57. 12:26:32 BST

    Before the race, Matt White had vowed tha his Australian team would make the race as difficult as possible, and they've certainly been true to their word - Michael Rogers has duly leapt away from the main peloton on a short incline.

  58. 12:29:03 BST

    Rogers' lone effort is designed to put even greater pressure on the British attempts to control the race. It also means that there are now two Australians up the road, while Matt Goss, Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans can lie in wait in the main field.

  59. 12:30:04 BST

    The escapees are on their third ascent of Box Hill. By the summit, we'll get a better idea of the gap between the break and the peloton.

  60. 12:32:21 BST

    Rogers is in the no man's land between the break and the peloton as he begins his third ascent of Box Hill.

  61. 145km remaining from 250km

    12:37:51 BST

    Rogers reaches the summit of Box Hill 5:07 down on the escapees.

  62. 12:39:04 BST

    Behind, the British tactic has been to tackle Box Hill as steadily as possible so as not to put Cavendish into difficulty, and peloton comes across the top 6:02 down on the break, and almost a minute down on Rogers.


  63. 12:40:38 BST

    Sungbaek Park (Korea) has been dislodged from the leading group and will soon be swept up by Rogers, who is maintaining a brisk pace as he continues to chip into the break's lead.

  64. 12:44:55 BST

    Marco Pinotti drops back to the Italian team car to discuss their plan of action. The unity of the breakaway group has remained unbroken thus far.

  65. 12:46:39 BST

    Back in the main field, Tony Martin is the only man giving intermittent relief to the British team on the front. With over 150 kilometres still to race, it will be a tall order for Wiggins, Millar et al to control matters quite as seamlessly as they did in Copenhagen last September.

  66. 12:50:17 BST

    It's interesting to see Denis Menchov in this break after a low-key Tour de France, where he finished 15th overall. Vladimir Isaychev and Alexandr Kolobnev are his only teammates in the race, and with that line-up, the onus is on the Russian trio to attack.

  67. 132km remaining from 250km

    12:53:53 BST

    Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) hits the front of the break as they tackle Box Hill for the fourth time. Michael Rogers' attack aside, these opening laps of the circuit have seen precious little excitement, but the repetition of the effort will begin to take its toll as the afternoon continues.

  68. 12:54:54 BST

    The combination of Tony Martin and the British squad has seen Rogers' advantage over the peloton sliced back to just 20 seconds or so as he begins his fourth ascent of Box Hill.


  69. 12:55:56 BST

    Rogers is swept up as the climb begins in earnest, and the Belgian squad hit the front setting the tempo, perhaps preparing the ground for an attack.

  70. 12:56:42 BST

    When the attack comes, it is Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) who delivers it, punching his way clear with real intent on the left-hand side of the road.

  71. 12:58:49 BST

    That surging attack from Nibali has brought four men clear with him - Philippe Gilbert, Greg van Avermaet (Belgium), Martin Elminger (Switzerland) and Robert Gesink (Netherlands).

     

  72. 12:59:32 BST

    That's a very strong group, but Nibali isn't looking for any help as he continues to set the tempo on the way up Box Hill.

  73. 13:01:40 BST

    A decent-sized chase group has splintered off the front of the peloton in pursuit of Nibali et al, and they should come together over the top of the climb.

  74. 13:04:56 BST

    There are no British riders in  the Nibali group, as expected. Instead, Wiggins, Millar, Stannard and Froome maintained a steadier tempo on the climb and are now attempting to drag Cavendish and the peloton back up to the counter-attack on the flatter sections of the circuit.

  75. 13:07:06 BST

    The Nibali/Gilbert move is duly brought to heel over the top of Box Hill, but with five more ascents of the climb to come, the British will have their work cut out to keep things under control.

  76. 13:08:33 BST

    That bout of attacking over Box Hill has had the residual effect of chipping away at the gap between the break and the main peloton. O'Grady, Duggan, Pinotti et all now have a margin of 4:23.


  77. 13:11:37 BST

    Tony Martin puts in another long, long turn on the front of the main peloton, but he remains the only German rider to contribute regularly to the pace-setting.

  78. 13:15:14 BST

    Michael Schar leads the break up Box Hill for the fifth time, with Stuart O'Grady tucked comfortably on his rear wheel. Updates on the time gaps have been sorely lacking, but it appears that the escapees are around four minutes clear of the British-led peloton.

  79. 13:17:37 BST

    Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) jumps clear of the peloton and is quickly joined by Gregory Rast (Switzerland). The pair have a ten-second lead on the bunch as they approach Box Hill for the fifth time.

  80. 13:19:25 BST

    Up front, meanwhile, Rast's teammate Schar is continuing to ride tempo. It's been an aggressive showing from the Swiss to this point, as they prepare the ground for Fabian Cancellara. Like all of the non-sprinters, it's in Cancellara's interests that the race is made as difficult as possible to try and shed the fastmen from the peloton.

  81. 13:20:46 BST

    It's clear that Britain will not force the pace on Box Hill as they nurse Cavendish over the climb. Consquently, there will be a series of attacks on every ascent from now on in. Nibali and Gilbert have attacked again in a bid to make it across to Rast and Grivko.

  82. 13:21:51 BST

    The British and Germans seem happy to let Nibali and Gilbert bring a small clutch of riders with them, confident that they can pull them back again once they get over the top of the climb,

  83. 13:22:51 BST

    The Nibali-Gilbert group makes it over the summit 3:32 down on the escapees.

  84. 13:23:33 BST

    3:50 is the gap to the main peloton at the top of the fifth ascent of Box Hill, which means that the British have 18 seconds to recoup on Gilbert and Nibali.

  85. 13:24:48 BST

    Jack Bauer (New Zealand) and Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) are also part of the Nibali-Gilbert group, which is dangling 15 seconds off the front of the peloton.

  86. 13:30:23 BST

    Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine), Niki Terpstra (Netherlands), Luca Paolini (Italy), Sylvain Chavanel (France), Jack Bauer (New Zealand), Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) and Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) are all in this rather select chase group, and the onus is on Britain and German to peg them back before their lead spirals out of control.

  87. 13:30:25 BST

    Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine), Niki Terpstra (Netherlands), Luca Paolini (Italy), Sylvain Chavanel (France), Jack Bauer (New Zealand), Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) and Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) are all in this rather select chase group, and the onus is on Britain and German to peg them back before their lead spirals out of control.

  88. 100km remaining from 250km

    13:33:20 BST

    With Philippe Gilbert in the chase group, Jurgen Roelandts has stopped working in the break up front.

  89. 13:34:29 BST

    Correction: Lars Boom is the Dutchman in the chase group, and not Niki Terpstra.

  90. 13:36:46 BST

    The full burden of the chase has fallen upon the British team once again. They are stringing out the peloton in a bid to peg back the Nibali-Gilbert counter-attack, which is currently 23 seconds up the road.

  91. 13:37:33 BST

    They may well succeed in pinning Nibali and Gilbert back once again on this occasion, but you can go only go to the well so many times on a day like this.

  92. 13:38:39 BST

    The break's lead has been slashed as a result of the Nibali-Gilbert move. They have just 1:56 in hand on the chasers, while the British-led peloton is at 2:20.

  93. 13:39:47 BST

    The early escapees tackle Box Hill for the sixth time, and they look considerably more ragged on this ascent.


  94. 13:40:47 BST

    Timmy Duggan and Westra sense that they are carrying some passengers and they up the tempo on Box Hill. Their brief injection of pace sees them bring Roedlandts and Pinotti clear with them.

  95. 13:42:22 BST

    Nibali sets a relentless tempo at the head of the chase group, while Bradley Wiggins looks comfortable as he leads the peloton up Box Hill.

  96. 13:44:30 BST

    The Nibali group reaches the top of Box Hill 1:15 down on the leaders, while the peloton crosses the summit 45 seconds later. Three more climbs of Box Hill to follow.

  97. 13:48:09 BST

    Nibali, Paolini, Gilbert, Kreuziger and Grivko appear to be the strongmen of the chase group, as they look to maintain their lead over the Britain-propelled peloton.


  98. 90km remaining from 250km

    13:49:00 BST

    Meanwhile, the eleven members of the break appear to have regrouped over the top of Box Hill, as they plough on with a lead of 1:45 over the main peloton.

  99. 13:50:17 BST

    The peloton is 20 seconds down on the Nibali group and 1:12 down on the early escapees with three more climbs of Box Hill to come.

  100. 13:52:12 BST

    The five British riders are occupying the first five positions in the peloton, with the Germans lined up just behind them. Stijn Vandenbergh has guided Tom Boonen up towards the front end of the peloton for Belgium, while Fabian Cancellara is sitting about 20 riders back and observing the situation carefully.

  101. 13:56:55 BST

    Sylvain Chavanel powers ahead of Taylor Phinney to the front of the chase group as they approach Box Hill for the seventh time.

  102. 13:58:15 BST

    Janez Brajkovic and Denis Menchov set the pace in the break as they climb Box Hill, but the early escapees are looking increasingly ragged in style as the afternoon draw on.

  103. 13:59:22 BST

    The peloton is almost within touching distance of the Nibali-Gilbert group as they begin to climb Box Hill for the seventh time. 20 seconds is the gap according to the on-screen graphic, but it is perhaps even less than that at this point.

  104. 14:02:30 BST

    • Attack

    Philippe Gilbert has attacked alone from the group of chasers on Box Hill and he is attempting to bridge alone to the leaders. Vincenzo Nibali leads the chase group in its pursuit.

  105. 14:04:17 BST

    The main peloton has thinned out dramatically over the past two laps of the Box Hill circuit, but it seems that all of the principal sprint contenders are still aboard.


  106. 82km remaining from 250km

    14:05:30 BST

    Schar leads the break over the top of Box Hill, while Gilbert crosses alone 30 seconds behind. The Nibali group is just behind him, however, and Gilbert is duly swept back up on the false flat over the top.

  107. 14:06:58 BST

    Once again, the British squad had clearly relaxed the pace on the way up Box Hill, and the peloton hits the summit 1:24 down on the leaders. That means that they have a little over 50 seconds to make up on Nibali, Gilbert et al, with 80 kilometres and two climbs of Box Hill still to come.

  108. 14:10:57 BST

    Timmy Duggan (USA) has been particularly active on the front of the leading group in recent laps, while Marco Pinotti has been able to avail of Vincenzo Nibali and Luca Paolini's presence in the chase group to sit on.

  109. 14:11:54 BST

    Back in the main peloton, Greipel, Cancellara and Boonen are all well-placed and surrounded by teammates, but the pursuit is the sole preserve of the British team for now.

  110. 14:12:47 BST

    Incidentally, Cavendish's Sky teammate Bernhard Eisel (Austria) is also sitting near the front end of the peloton.

  111. 73km remaining from 250km

    14:17:36 BST

    The Nibali group appears to be on the verge of catching the early break, while the British team continues to lead the peloton.

  112. 14:18:57 BST

    Tony Martin (Germany) has climbed off after being the most prominent of Andre Greipel's supporting men in the opening half of the race.

  113. 180.5km remaining from 250km

    14:20:07 BST

    As soon as the junction is made between the break and the chasers, the hyperactive Nibali is immediately on the front, looking to press on the pace.

  114. 180.5km remaining from 250km

    14:20:08 BST

    As soon as the junction is made between the break and the chasers, the hyperactive Nibali is immediately on the front, looking to press on the pace.

  115. 14:21:26 BST

    As the leaders begin the penultimate ascent of Box Hill, Philippe Gilbert is the man setting the tempo. 45 seconds is the gap back to the main peloton.


  116. 14:22:30 BST

    Fuglsang comes through on the front of the lead group, aware that they need to press home their advantage on the way up Box Hill.

  117. 14:24:54 BST

    Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia) jumps away from the main peloton on the way up Box Hill, with no reaction from the British squad.

  118. 67km remaining from 250km

    14:27:31 BST

    Gilbert brings the leaders over the top of Box Hill for the penultimate time, while Kolobnev's chase group comes across 24 seconds down.

  119. 14:29:01 BST

    53 seconds the gap to the British-led peloton with one more circuit of Box Hill still to come.

  120. 14:30:28 BST

    Four British riders at the front of the peloton, with Bernhard Eisel (Austria) in 5th place with Cavendish on his wheel. It helps to have some friends in the peloton.


  121. 14:32:04 BST

    The lead group split the last time up Box Hill, and Kolobnev has managed to get across to the stragglers.

  122. 14:33:28 BST

    Philippe Gilbert has been consistently aggressive over the past 30 kilometres, and he again looks to punch his way clear. The Belgian needs to bring somebody clear with him but for now he is ploughing a lone furrow.

  123. 14:36:51 BST

    Boonen and Vandenbergh remain well-placed near the front end of the peloton on the approach to the final climb of Box Hill.

  124. 14:37:35 BST

    Boonen's co-leader Gilbert, meanwhile, is still out alone in front, just ahead of the Nibali group.


  125. 55km remaining from 250km

    14:40:13 BST

    Gilbert's persistence has been rewarded with a 35-second lead over his erstwhile companions. He would surely have preferred some company, but it looks as though he will lead the final time up Box Hill and begin the final run-in to London alone in front of the bunch.

  126. 14:41:15 BST

    The two chase groups have lost momentum and are beginning to fragment and reform repeatedly. Britain continue to lead the peloton, which has now been reduced to around 80 riders or so.

  127. 14:43:28 BST

    As the final climb of Box Hill looms into view, the peloton is around 25 seconds down on the Nibali group, and a minute down on Philippe Gilbert.

  128. 14:45:35 BST

    Gilbert climbs seated, tapping out a brisk tempo. The fight looks to have seeped out of the chasers behind, even if Kolobnev is attempting to orchestrate a chase.

  129. 14:47:02 BST

    Gilbert motors towards the summit of the climb, his shoulders rocking as he opens out his advantage a little further.

  130. 50.5km remaining from 250km

    14:48:31 BST

    Gilbert crosses the summit alone, while Fugslang leads the chase group behind.

  131. 14:49:15 BST

    43 seconds is the gap back to Fuglsang, Nibali and company at the top of Box Hill. A smaller counter attack comes over 1:10 down.

  132. 14:50:08 BST

    1:21 is the gap back to the peloton, which continues to be led by Britain. Cavendish looked comfortable as he came over the climb, but his four teammates must sweep up some 30 riders between now and the finish on the Mall.

  133. 14:52:50 BST

    Gilbert is fully committed to his attack, but it's a big ask for the Belgian to stay clear on the long, high-speed run-in to London.

  134. 14:57:13 BST

    Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) attempts to attack alone from the chase group, but he won't make it across to the flying Gilbert.

  135. 42km remaining from 250km

    14:59:19 BST

    Gilbert has been swallowed up by the chase group, which has been strengthened considerably by the 15 riders or so it picked up after the final time up Box Hill.

  136. 15:01:51 BST

    There are now three Spanish riders in the leading group, including, it seems, Luis Leon Sanchez. 26 seconds the gap between the leaders and the peloton.

  137. 38km remaining from 250km

    15:03:11 BST

    Bradley Wiggins sets the pace on the front of the peloton - there are no more climbs left to come, and it will be flat out from here all the way to the Mall.

  138. 15:04:38 BST

    Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) is also in the leading group... He was among the riders who slipped off the front of the peloton on the final ascent of Box Hill.

  139. 15:06:11 BST

    Bert Grabsch has come to the front to provide some help to the British team, but they are now over 50 seconds down on the leaders with 35km to go.

  140. 15:07:30 BST

    The camera work has not exactly been up to France Television/Tour de France standards this afternoon, but we are informed that there are 32 riders in this leading group, including Fabian Cancellara, Luis Leon Sanchez, Vincenzo Nibali and Philippe Gilbert. The British-led peloton is a minute down.


  141. 15:09:35 BST

    Spain have Valverde, Luis Leon Sanchez and Castroviejo in this group. Cancellara and the Swiss also have number, and consequently, they are happy to work on the front to hold off the British and German-led peloton.


  142. 15:11:48 BST

    Tejay Van Garderen (USA) briefly drifts off the front of the lead group but is quickly brought back to heel by the Swiss.

  143. 15:12:37 BST

    Ian Stannard is the man setting the pace on the front end of the peloton as we await the latest time gap.

  144. 28km remaining from 250km

    15:14:11 BST

    With Albasini, Schar and Cancellara in the group, the Swiss seem to be matching the British pace behind. 55 seconds is the gap.

  145. 15:16:03 BST

    Marcel Sieberg and the German team are now beginning to contribute more wholeheartedly to the pursuit. Almost a minute down, however, they'll have their work cut out to peg it back at this point.


  146. 15:17:23 BST

    Chris Froome sits up and swings off from the main peloton. Cavendish has just four teammates (plus, perhaps, Bernhard Eisel) with him, and the 32-man break looks like it is drifting further up the road.

  147. 15:18:19 BST

    There are at least four Swiss riders in this lead group, and they are devoted to Fabian Cancellara. Michael Schar is the man setting the pace on the front now.

  148. 23km remaining from 250km

    15:20:47 BST

    Coming past Hampton Court Palace, Alejandro Valverde puts in a big turn on the front. 56 seconds the gap to the peloton.

  149. 15:22:56 BST

    David Millar hits the front of the peloton, but he is making no inroads into the break's advantage. Daniel Schorn (Austria) is also beginning to contribute to the pursuit.

  150. 15:24:32 BST

    The leaders are continuing to collaborate well, thanks largely to the impetus of the Swiss delegation. It looks as if these 32 riders will fight out the medals.

  151. 19km remaining from 250km

    15:26:04 BST

    The gap is coming down ever so slightly, but nowhere near quickly enough for Cavendish and Greipel's liking. 51 seconds is the margin between the leaders and the bunch.

  152. 15:28:00 BST

    Bradley Wiggins strings things out at the front of the peloton in a desperate bid to reduce the deficit.


  153. 15:29:25 BST

    Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway) jumps off the front of the break coming through Richmond Park, but he is brought back by Tejay Van Garderen. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) comes tthrough and takes a long turn on the front.

  154. 15:30:53 BST

    The unity of the leading group is fragmenting slightly on this false flat through Richmond Park. Robert Gesink (Netherlands) attempts to push clear, and though thwarted, his attack has given a timely fresh impetus to the group's efforts.

  155. 15:32:05 BST

    Gilbert and Nibali lead the break into a sharp right-hand bend, and there's been a crash behind them.

  156. 15:33:31 BST

    Fabian Cancellara was the man who overshot the bend and caused the crash, and his chances of gold have vanished.


  157. 15:34:37 BST

    In fact, Cancellara had led into that bend, and he slammed straight into the barriers. He appears to have injured his right shoulder and has been swallowed up by the peloton.


  158. 10km remaining from 250km

    15:36:24 BST

    Cancellara's crash appears to have reduced the lead group to around 15 riders. With only head-on shots, however, it's difficult to identify the composition of the group. Offical time gaps are also sorely lacking, unfortunately. 10km to go.

  159. 15:37:27 BST

    Nibali, Gilbert, Van Garderen, Sergei Lagutin (Uzbekistan), Luis Leon Sanchez, Alejandro Valverde and Sylvain Chavanel all seem to be still part of the leading group. The gap to the peloton is still at 57 seconds.

  160. 15:38:13 BST

    A puncture for Tom Boonen, who had been sitting in the main peloton. His medal hopes were already fading beforehand.

  161. 15:39:00 BST

    Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) attacks out of the leading group, which still contains around 20 riders. Van Garderen and Vinokourov shut him down.

  162. 15:40:51 BST

    Sergio Henao (Colombia) jumps away with 8km to go and Alexandre Vinokourov comes with him. The pair have 5 seconds in hand over their erstwhile companions.


  163. 7km remaining from 250km

    15:42:12 BST

    Correction, it's Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) who is off the front, and after sitting on his wheel, Vinokourov has duly come through to do a turn.

  164. 15:43:24 BST

    Uran and Vinokourov have a decent advantage, but if they hesitate at all, they will be swept up. There seems to be some disagreement over whose responsibility it is to chase.

  165. 15:43:51 BST

    The main peloton, meanwhile, will not peg the leaders back at this late stage.

  166. 4km remaining from 250km

    15:44:45 BST

    Still no reaction in the leading group as Vinokourov and Uran continue to forge up the road.

  167. 2km remaining from 250km

    15:46:30 BST

    Nobody is taking up the reins and Vinokourov and Uran look to be riding into gold and silver, unless the reaction comes quickly.


  168. 1.5km remaining from 250km

    15:47:31 BST

    Uran and Vinokourov are collaborating well even within sight of the red kite. Fuglsang attempts to lead the chase behind, but the gap remains stable.

  169. 1km remaining from 250km

    15:48:01 BST

    10 seconds the lead under the red kite. Vinokourov is looking for force Uran to lead out the sprint.

  170. 15:48:28 BST

    Uran leads into the final 400 metres.

  171. 15:49:14 BST

    Vinokourov comes past Uran with 300 metres to go and quickly distances Uran.

  172. 15:49:50 BST

    Alexandre Vinokourov wins the men's road at the London 2012 Olympics, while Rigoberto Uran takes silver.

  173. 15:51:31 BST

    Alexander Kristoff (Norway) takes the sprint for bronze ahead of Lagutin and O'Grady.

  174. 15:52:28 BST

    When the main bunch rolls in under a minute later, it is Andre Greipel who takes the sprint, but it was for pride rather than a placing.

  175. 15:53:18 BST

    Vinokourov showed his cunning in the final 300 metres. As Uran glanced back over his left shoulder, Vinokourov jumped hard on his blindside and easily took the sprint.

  176. 15:55:07 BST

    Provisional result:

    1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan)
    2 Rigoberto Uran (Colombia)
    3 Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
    4 Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan)
    5 Stuart O’Grady (Australia)
     

  177. 15:59:57 BST

    In what is widely expected to be his final season, if not his final race, as a professional, Vinokourov looks to have brought the curtain down on his turbulent and controversial career in the most surprising of fashions. A silver medallist in the road race in Sydney twelve years ago, Vinokourov's career will forever be overshadowed by his positive test for a blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France, yet he now signs off as Olympic champion.


  178. 16:02:59 BST

    Fabian Cancellara, meanwhile, crossed the line in some considerable discomfort after his crash in the finale. It remains to be seen what effect that will have on his participation in Wednesday's time trial.

  179. 16:07:39 BST

    Result:

    1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan)
    2 Rigoberto Uran (Colombia)
    3 Alexander Kristoff (Norway) at 00:08
    4 Taylor Phinney (USA)
    5 Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan)
    6 Stuart O’Grady (Australia)
    7 Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium)
    8 Gregory Rast (Switzerland)
    9 Luca Paolini (Italy)
    10 Jack Bauer (New Zealand)
    11 Lars Boom (Netherlands)
    12 Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)
    13 Rui Costa (Portugal)
    14 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain)
    15 Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic)
    16 Sergio Henao (Colombia)
    17 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine)
    18 Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
    19 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
    20 Sylvain Chavanel (France)
     

  180. 16:09:26 BST

    Thanks for joining our live coverage of the opening day of the London 2012 Olympics. We'll be back with more from the women's road race tomorrow, but in the meantime stay tuned to Cyclingnews for a full report, results, pictures and news from a dramatic day's racing in London.