Carapaz and Kiesenhofer Win the Olympics Road Race and Other Cool News from the World of Cycling

By Monica Buck

Another Monday is here, and so is our news from the world of cycling. So, what did you miss?

Carapaz makes Ecuadorian Olympic history

The 28-year-old won only the second-ever gold medal for Ecuador after race walker Jefferson Pérez in 1996. Carapaz used his attacking style to escape on the final climb and build enough of a gap that the chasers could not close him in.

“I went to the Tour with the podium on my mind. I made it and I came here with the feeling that I could achieve something special. I won a gold medal and even when I crossed the line, I couldn’t believe it. I think it’s the happiest moment of my life,” Carapaz said after the finish.

“To my country, the truth is you have to believe, no? I have worked so hard to get here. I’m here, I’m enjoying — it’s something so big for me. And simply ‘thank you’ for the support, which truthfully really helped me get here,” Carapaz finished.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Men’s road race (234KM) – Results

  1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu), in 6-05-26
  2. Wout van Aert (Bel) + 1:07
  3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
  4. Bauke Mollema (Ned)
  5. Michael Woods (Can)
  6. Brandon McNulty (USA)
  7. David Gaudu (Fra)
  8. Rigoberto Uran (Col)
  9. Adam Yates (GBr)
  10. Max Schachmann (Ger)

Anna Kiesenhofer shocks everyone

Anna Kiesenhofer
Kiesenhofer outdone all the pros. © Profimedia

The amateur rider with a Mathematics PhD won herself an Olympic gold medal ahead of all the pros. She took part in an early break, which was given a healthy advantage of over 10 minutes by the peloton. Then on the main climbs, she attacked and went solo with 41 km to go. The rest of the break was eventually caught with just 4 km to go. But not the 30-year-old Austrian. Even Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) thought she won the gold when she crossed the line. Everyone in the peloton forgot about Kiesenhofer. However, she crossed the line far earlier than van Vleuten and couldn’t believe what she has just achieved.

“It’s incredible, I couldn’t believe it, even when I crossed the line. I planned to attack at kilometre zero and I was happy I could get in front,” Kiesenhofer said after her stunning victory. “That is something I could not take for granted because I am not good at riding in the peloton.”

“I am happy that I was not too scared and I just went for it,” Kiesenhofer continued. “I attacked and, with the group, we worked more or less together — it was helpful to have a group. I saw I was the strongest and I knew I had the climb before the long descent. I’m pretty good at descending so I got some more time and then it was just like a time trial to the finish.”

“It was only when I crossed the finish line that I realised what I had achieved. Until then, I was on the limit. Many people have made sacrifices for my cycling career. I am very happy that I can give something back with this medal. I’m not aiming for a professional career on the road but I would like to continue to commit to the time trial.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Women’s road race (137KM) – Results

  1. Anna Kiesenhofer (Aut) – 3:52:45
  2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) + 1:15
  3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) + 1:29
  4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) + 1:39
  5. Marianne Vos (Ned) + 1:46
  6. Lisa Brennauer (Ger)
  7. Coryn Rivera (USA)
  8. Marta Cavalli (Ita)
  9. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb)
  10. Cecille Uttrup Ludwig (Den)

This is just too good