Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen has taken the Olympic title in the women’s road race in Rio de Janeiro, claiming the gold after chasing down US hopeful Mara Abbott, Emma Johansson of Sweden and Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy.
Lizzie Armitstead of Great Britain came in a very respectable fifth place, with Johansson taking silver and Longo Borghini in third place on the podium.
It could all have been so very different, however, with race leader Annemiek van Vleuten, also of the Dutch team, crashing on the final descent, an accident that saw her unable to finish the course.
Team GB also had a bit of drama to contend with, with Armitstead suffering a puncture within the first ten kilometres of the race.
“I'm proud of the effort I did, I stuck to my tactic, I needed to limit my losses on that climb and that's exactly what I did, I couldn't have climbed any faster. I'm happy with the tactic I had, I just simply wasn't good enough at climbing,” Armitstead was quoted by British Cycling as saying.
Sadly, gold was also not on the cards in the men’s race for Team GB either. Welshman Geraint Thomas suffered a crash late on in the day with just 15km to go on the final descent of the Vista Chinesa circuit. He got back on his bike to finish the race but it was too little too late and he eventually took 11th place, with Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet taking the gold.
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