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Cycling: Roglic takes Tokyo Olympics men's road time trial gold as Ganna blows it

Primoz Roglic claimed Slovenia's first-ever Olympic cycling gold medal with a perfectly executed ride in the road time trial to dominate the field on Wednesday (Jul 28).

Cycling: Roglic takes Tokyo Olympics men's road time trial gold as Ganna blows it

Primoz Roglic of Slovenia in action during the Tokyo Olympics men's individual time trial final at the Fuji International Speedway in Shizuoka, Japan, on Jul 28, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Christian Hartmann)

OYAMA TOWN, Japan: Primoz Roglic claimed Slovenia's first-ever Olympic cycling gold medal with a perfectly executed ride in the road time trial to dominate the field on Wednesday (Jul 28).

The 31-year-old former international ski jumper flew around the 44.1km route at the Fuji Speedway in 55:04 to better the bronze medal of team mate Tadej Pogacar in last Saturday's road race.

"Everything pays off if you work hard and believe," Roglic said. "It has not been the best season for me, but this is a nice present."

Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who had looked set to quit the sport this year, repeated his silver medal from the Rio Games in 2016, finishing 61 seconds behind Roglic.

"Silver is beautiful," Dumoulin said. "I overtrained in the winter and was quite down mentally.

"I came back and found out that I still loved to ride and could aim for big goals - especially this event.

"I felt it was my gold for the taking, but Primoz was another planet today."

READ: Carapaz trumps Pogacar to win men's Olympic road race

READ: Van Vleuten wins Tokyo Olympics women's time trial gold

Former time trial world champion Rohan Dennis of Australia was third, a further two seconds slower, with pre-race favourite Filippo Ganna a disappointing fifth.

Reigning world champion Ganna, the last of the 39 riders to roll down the start ramp, went off in scorching fashion and was 59 seconds faster than Roglic at the 9km checkpoint.

But the Italian powerhouse paid for that pace on a hilly course featuring 846m of climbing, and his advantage leaked away steadily to leave him deflated.

While Roglic romped to gold, the battle for the minor medals was fierce, with only 4.3 seconds between Dumoulin and Ganna.

Roglic paced his race perfectly and won comfortably in the end in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the racing circuit - a stark contrast to most of the empty Tokyo 2020 venues.

Roglic, winner of the last two editions of the Vuelta a Espana, abandoned the Tour de France after eight stages in July having been involved in several crashes.

It gave the 31-year-old more time to recover for the Olympics, and it proved a wise move.

Dennis added bronze to the silver he won on the track in team pursuit in 2012, making him only the second Australian cyclist to win a medal in both Olympic track and road racing.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: Reuters/kg

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