Lookin' back on Beijing

Tales from the peloton, August 25, 2008

Hopes have been dashed, records smashed and now the cleaners are mopping up the aftermath of Beijing Olympic Games' after party. As those athletes who stayed in China for yesterday's farewell bash start making their respective ways home, we re-live some of the highs and lows of this Olympiad.

Great Britain proved dominant not only on the track, but also strong on the road with Nicole Cooke taking the women's road race victory while compatriot Emma Pooley hooked silver in the Time Trial. The Spaniards did what was expected in the men's road race, although few thought it would be Samuel Sánchez to take gold for the nation. Meanwhile the Swiss-clock Fabian Cancellara performed like, um, clockwork to take bronze in the road race and a brilliant Time Trial gold medal.

While neither the men's nor women's teams from North America were able to jag a road race placing, both squads faired well in the Time Trials. Kristin Armstrong took out the women's gold while Levi Leipheimer was delighted with his bronze. The Americans also placed well in BMX's debut, with three medals between the men and women, but it was Frenchwomen Anne-Caroline Chausson and Latvia's Maris Strombergs that took home the discipline's first Olympic gold medals.

The fortnight of action finished off on Saturday with a mountain biking double, after the women's race was postponed due to a heavy downpour. The shower did little to dampen Sabine Spitz's (Germany) spirits as she claimed the women's race a few hours before Frenchman Julien Absalon claimed the Beijing's final cycling gold medal.

As the sun goes down on China's Olympiad, enjoy re-living the memories with our highlight gallery below. In just four short years, we will be converging on Great Britain where, in between intermediate showers, the sun will rise on London 2012.

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