Third in the Tour de France, Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz won the gold medal in the road cycling event at the Olympic Games on Saturday in Tokyo. He offers the third charm in history to his country, the second in gold. The Belgian Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar, winner of the Grande Boucle, take silver and bronze. First Frenchman, David Gaudu finished 7th.
We take (almost) the same ones and start over. But out of order. Between the podium of the Tour de France and that of the Olympic Games, we found two riders accustomed to glory. If Tadej Pogacar had triumphed on Sunday on the Grande Boucle, Richard Carapaz, 3rd in Paris, won the Olympic gold medal in the road cycling event in Tokyo on Saturday. The Ecuadorian crossed the finish line in the lead before Slovenian Tadej Pogacar won the bronze medal, edged by Belgian Wout van Aert, silver medalist. First Frenchman, David Gaudu is seventh.
At 28, Carapaz, winner of the Tour of Italy in 2019, therefore becomes Olympic champion and offers a historic gold medal to his country. Because it is only the third charm in the history of Ecuador, the second in gold after Jefferson Perez, Olympic champion of the 20km walk at the 1996 Olympics. As it is this same Perez who gleaned the money in 2008 in Beijing, Carapaz is the 2nd Ecuadorian athlete to reach an Olympic podium.
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Gaudu offensive but powerless in the final
Smarter and stronger in the final after an alert race on a complicated course, Richard Carapaz escaped with a group of 12 riders before releasing the American Brandon McNulty 5 km from the finish. He finished with 1’07 ahead of a group of pursuers who fought for the silver and bronze medals. In this game, the Belgian Wout van Aert settled with nothing in the sprint Tadej Pogacar.
Too bad for David Gaudu, offensive but powerless in the final against the Belgian and Slovenian leaders. Le Breton finished in 7th place. “It was a pretty crazy race in the final, he commented hot on France 2. I was not necessarily very good on the climb, but I did not give up in my head, I knew that Wout Van Aert would do anything to come back. I had a great feeling in the final, we tried to have the best possible race. We said to ourselves with Thomas (Voeckler) that I shouldn’t ride in the group and focus everything on the sprint. Unfortunately, it’s only the first three places that count. “