Cycling at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's road race
|Men's cycling road race
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
Alexander Vinokourov leading the breakaway group in the men's road race, approximately 10 km from the finish line on The Mall.
|Venue||Central and southwest London and north Surrey
250 km (155.3 mi)
|Date||28 July 2012|
|Competitors||144 from 63 nations|
|Cycling at the
2012 Summer Olympics
The men's road race, one of the cycling events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, took place on 28 July at 10 a.m. in central and southwest London and north Surrey, starting and finishing on The Mall.
Samuel Sánchez of Spain would have been the defending champion, but due to an injury incurred at the 2012 Tour de France he could not compete. It was anticipated over one million people would line the route – a record for an Olympic event if reached.
The race was won by Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov. He sprinted clear of Colombia's Rigoberto Urán, who claimed the silver medal. Alexander Kristoff of Norway won the sprint from the following group to take bronze.
The top ten ranked countries in the final standings of the 2011 UCI World Tour qualified to have five riders to represent their respective country in the race. The nations with five man squads are: Spain, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, United States and Switzerland; although Luxembourg placed ninth in the rankings, their roster was reduced to two men. Of the other nations on the World Tour, France and Dennmark have four riders, Norway and Ireland three, Kazakhstan two and Slovakia, Costa Rica and Latvia one rider each. The top six countries on the UCI Europe Tour – Slovenia, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Turkey and Belarus – in addition to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, the UCI America Tour top three, UCI Asia Tour leaders Iran and UCI Africa Tour leaders Morocco, have three riders. The remaining nations in the race are represented by either two or one rider. There are a total of 144 participants.
The 2011 World Road Race Champion, Mark Cavendish of Great Britain was considered the favourite for the race, although his chances were likely dependent on whether the race ended in a sprint finish. Cavendish was expected to be greatly assisted by his four-man British team which he labelled his 'dream team' prior to the race and regarded by some as the finest road race team to ever compete in the Olympics with four out of the five riders having won a stage at the 2012 Tour de France. The British team included the duo of Bradley Wiggins, who won the 2012 Tour de France, and Chris Froome, who finished second in the 2012 Tour de France and 2011 Vuelta a España. The five-man team also included Ian Stannard and 2012 Tour de France stage winner David Millar, who was team captain.
Tom Boonen of Belgium, Australia's Matthew Goss, André Greipel of Germany were also tipped as potential winners. Other sprinters tipped for medals included Tour de France points classification winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway – but both riders had perceived weaker teams than those of Great Britain, Belgium and Germany. If the race was to have ended in a sprint finish, Sagan and Boonen were tipped for victory, along with other classic specialists such as Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, the silver medalist in 2008, and Philippe Gilbert of Belgium.
The race was 250 km (155.3 mi) long and began with a mass start. Crowds were bolstered by free entry for 150 km of the 250 km route, recent British success in the 2012 Tour de France and the possibility of the host nation winning its first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics through Mark Cavendish. Originally 3,500 paid tickets were made available for the grandstand area on Box Hill where the cyclists would undertake nine laps, but due to demand this was increased to 15,000.
Start list and final classification
The entry list was published on 23 July.
In the table below, "s.t." indicates that the rider crossed the finish line in the same group as the cyclist before him, and was therefore credited with the same finishing time.
- Over time limit (OTL)
- Under UCI regulations for one-day road races (article 2.3.039), "Any rider finishing in a time exceeding that of the winner by more than 5% shall not be placed." Applying this to the winning time of Alexander Vinokourov resulted in a time limit of 6 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds.
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- UCI Cycling Regulations, Part II: Road Races, UCI, 1 February 2012, p. 31
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