A final look back at the Olympic Games racing – Gallery

The best images from the Rio cycling events

As athletes return home from the Olympic Games and the dust settles on the two weeks of competition, we look back at the cycling events with this special gallery of images from Rio.

The cycling action at the Olympics began on the first day of competition on Sunday August 6, with the hilly men’s road race course providing a spectacular race. Greg Van Avermaet won gold for Belgium after a thrilling finale that saw Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) and Sergio Henao (Colombia) crash on the descent. That left Rafal Majka (Poland) out front alone but he was caught by Van Avermaet and Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) with two kilometres to race.

The women’s race was even more thrilling with Mara Abbott of the USA left heartbroken after being caught within sight of the finish by Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy). Annemiek Van Vleuten crashed on the descent when ahead of Abbott but fortunately was not seriously injured, but this did not quieten complaints that the final road race descent was overly demanding and so dangerous.

The time trial events were dominated by two giants of the sport, with Fabian Cancellara taking gold in one of the final major races of his long career, and Kristin Armstrong of the USA taking a third Olympic gold after coming out of retirement.

The racing moved to the track for the second week of competition, with Great Britain again dominating the boards despite signs of weakness at the March world championships and in their final build-up. After five days of competition, every British rider in the squad went home with a medal of some kind, including Mark Cavendish who won a silver behind Elia Viviani of Italy in the hotly contested omnium.

Britain won a total of six gold medals, with Bradley Wiggins taking his fifth gold while anchoring the men’s team pursuit and Laura Trott again won two gold medals in the women’s team pursuit and the omnium. The other nations struggled and were left confounded with German Kristina Vogel one of the few to break the British stranglehold by winning her second career gold medal, adding the individual sprint to her team sprint title from 2012. Jason Kenny also increased his haul of gold, winning medals in the men's team sprint, the sprint and the keirin, after risking disqualification the latter due to problems with the derny. 

After the BMX racing during the second week, the cross country mountain bike races ended the games on two wheels, with Nino Schurter (Switzerland) skilfully avoiding flats and riding strong to out perform his rivals, including Peter Sagan (Slovakia), who started strongly and jumped to the head of the race, only to suffer two flats. Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) stole the show in the women’s race, beating the bigger-name contenders to take gold.

Click or swipe through the gallery of images to relive the cycling events of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

 

 

 

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