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2012 Olympic Games - London: Men's RR
By Bart Hazen
Date: 7/28/2012
2012 Olympic Games - London: Men's RR

2012 Olympic Games - London: Men's RR
Alexandre Vinokourov retires from professional cycling with an Olympic Gold medal. Kazakh outsprints Rigoberto Uran to put the crown on his career. Norwegian Kristoff sprints to Bronze.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) has won the gold medal in the men's road race at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In front of Buckingham Palace, at the mall, Vinokourov outsprinted break companion Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) for the win. The two broke clear from a 26 rider break with 8 km to go to win with a small lead on the chase group led home for the bronze medal by Norwegian Alexandre Kristoff. Taylor Phinney and Sergey Lagutin completed the top five. Vinokourov, who is retiring after the ITT on Wednesday, was very emotional at the finish. For Vinokourov it was his second medal after winning silver in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Immediately after the neutral start the early break was formed after an attack from Lieuwe Westra. Westra got company of Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium), Marco Pinotti (Italy), Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan), Denis Menchov (Russia), Stuart O’Grady (Australia), Tim Duggan (USA), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Michael Schar (Switzerland), Alexander Kristoff (Norway) and Sungbaek Park (Korea). The twelve worked well together and gathered a maximum of six minutes. The riders had a 50 km approach to the box hill circuit which the riders had to do eight times before heading back to the mall in London.

From the start Great Britain took control of the race for their sprinter Cavendish. Tour de France winner Brad Wiggins, the second Chris Froome, Tour de France stage winner David Millar and Ian Stannard did all a tremendous job. The German team missed the break too but apart from a little bit of work from Tony Martin the Brits didn't get any help. Michael Rogers went in the counter-attack on the first time up Box Hill but was absorbed a few kilometers later.

At the start of the fourth time up Box Hill Vincenzo Nibali attacked and was followed by Robert Gesink, Martin Elmiger, Philippe Gilbert and Greg van Avermaet. At the top they had a 15 seconds lead on the group led by Great Britain. In the descent all came back together apart from the twelve in front. On the fifth time up Box Hill Nibali and Gilbert attacked again this time they were joined by a.o. Lars Boom, Jakob Fuglsang, Sylvain Chavanel, Gregory Rast, Andriy Grivko, Luca Paolini, Jack Bauer and Taylor Phinney.

In the meantime the gap of the eleven leaders, the Korean Sungbaek Park dropped off the break and was caught very soon, was reduced to 3:50 on the Nibali group and 4:20 on the bunch. By the end of the sixth time up Box Hill the gap of the eleven was down to 1:15 on the Nibali group and 2:00 on the bunch. The gap continued to drop with Wiggins and Froome doing the majority of the work in the bunch.

Soon the Nibali group caught the break and after the last time up Box Hill Gilbert attacked out of the large break. However Gilbert was soon brought back and the leading group of 21 riders had a lead of 1:00 on the bunch led by the Britains with less than 50 km to go. On the final time up Box Hill another group with Gesink, Uran, Henao, Van Garderen, Vinokourov, Cancellara, Luis Leon Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde broke clear. They bridged up in no-time to the front group forming a break of 26 riders. In the meantime riders as Pinotti had done their job and dropped off the back.

In the bunch Germany and Austria started to cooperate with the Brits as they sensed the danger. But how hard they tried the gap was always trailing between 50 seconds and the one minute mark. In front the Swiss team took control of the break as they had three riders up there with Cancellara, Rast and Schar. With 20 km to go the gap on the bunch was 51 seconds.

With about 15 km to go Cancellara misjudged a corner, while riding into first place, and crashed into the barriers. Cancellara seriously hurt his shoulder but x-rays showed that he didn't break anything. With 8 km to go Rigoberto Uran attacked the front group and was followed by Vinokourov. In the chasing group no one was willing to work and they quickly gathered a lead of 10 seconds.

With 200 km to go Vinokourov started his sprint while Uran was looking over the wrong shoulder to see where Vino was. Vino took advantage to end his career with an Olympic gold medal.

Result (top 50)
1 Alexandre Vinokurov (Kazakhstan) 5:45:57
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Colombia)
3 Alexander Kristoff (Norway) 0:00:08
4 Taylor Phinney (United States of America)
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 Alberto Faria Costa (Portugal)
14 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)
15 Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic)
16 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Colombia)
17 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine)
18 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain)
19 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
20 Sylvain Chavanel (France)
21 Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)
22 Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)
23 Robert Gesink (Netherlands)
24 Alexandre Kolobnev (Russian Federation)
25 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway)
26 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain) 0:00:16
27 Andre Greipel (Germany) 0:00:40
28 Tom Boonen (Belgium)
29 Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
30 Arnaud Demare (France)
31 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spain)
32 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Brazil)
33 Tyler Farrar (United States of America)
34 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
35 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (Costa Rica)
36 Bernhard Eisel (Austria)
37 Kam-Po Wong (Hong Kong, China)
38 Elia Viviani (Italy)
39 Hector Hugo Zamarron Rangel (Mexico)
40 Daryl Impey (South Africa)
41 Matti Breschel (Denmark)
42 Radoslav Rogina (Croatia)
43 Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan)
44 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spain)
45 Miguel Ubeto Aponte (Venezuela)
46 Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
47 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
48 Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)
49 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Portugal)
50 Rene Mandri (Estonia)
Full result

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