Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Road Race Result

The Olympic Road Race has just ended, regrettably as far as I am concerned with a winner who would be difficult to surpass for the prize of most undeserving. That individual is unapologetic blood doping cheat, Alexander Vinoukorov who easily won a two up sprint from Rigoberto Uran after they broke away in the last 5 kilometres. When I had expected a strong classics man to take the gold from a group of contemporaries, he wasn't the winner I had hoped for, if a Cavendish victory was no longer on the cards.

Unsurprisingly, almost no-one helped the British Team control the race in the finale, with only a few half-hearted attempts, too little and too late it would appear, from the German squad, who have only got themselves to blame for Andre Greipel missing out entirely on a medal opportunity. There was no noticeable effort from anyone else at the head of the peloton to aid the tiring British Team, perhaps because most nations had some interest in the large group ahead that had gained around a minutes advantage which they sustained to the final kilometres, but also because there seemed to be a rather negative tactic to let the 4 British riders do all the work.

Self blame is also true of Cancellara, whose attention was far too much on what was going on over his shoulder, rather than on the sharp corner he was about to negotiate. This beginners error, uncharacteristic of the Swiss star, put him into the barriers and out of contention with the addition of an injury to his shoulder, the nature of which is not known as I'm writing but which also seems likely to end his chances in the Time Trial following in a few days.

There was no sign of Peter Sagan in the race, who perhaps considering his youth is still feeling the effects of his efforts at the Tour de France, and like most of the other sprinters, he was part of an unenthusiastic gallop for 27th place, which was taken by Greipel. I had expected Sagan to join the attack, but perhaps he was unable to, or perhaps he had simply made a gamble to be on Cavendish's wheel in a bunch finish.

Uran, the Silver medallist made firstly the mistake of taking the lead out position in the final kilometre to his far more experienced and crafty opponent, then stunningly, swinging left while looking over his shoulder at the chasers for far too long, at which point Vino immediately jumped, while it took a long moment before Uran realised and attempted to respond. His directeur must have been cringing. It likely wouldn't have made any difference though, as his companion had at least ten metres at the line.

Alexander Kristoff of Norway, took the Bronze from the pursuing breakaway group.

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