Richard Carapaz was in Japan for barely a week after his third-place finish at the 2021 Tour de France when he won gold in the men’s road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
A day later, the relatively unknown Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer who had been a pro with Lotto-Soudal Ladies several years ago, stunned the cycling world with a surprise victory in the women’s road race, after escaping in a breakaway that formed at the start of the race.
Belgium lead the peloton past a lake on the road to the finish at Fuji International Speedway.
The men’s peloton made one of the two passes through the finish line at the Fuji International Speedway.
Teams fought for the front, with one very big climb to come, on a pass through the Speedway.
The Olympic road cycling podium of Wout van Aert, Richard Carapaz, and Tadej Pogačar.
Barely a week before the Olympic road race at the Tour de France, Wout van Aert won a mountain stage, a sprint stage, and a time trial stage. Carapaz was third overall at the Tour, and Pogačar successfully defended his 2020 title.
Leah Thomas and Ruth Winder of the United States in the peloton as it passes the Okunitama Shrine in Tokyo.
Anna van der Breggen lead the group of chasers across the finish line with one small loop to go, apparently unaware there were still riders up the road.
Van Vleuten was in full attack mode, riding for what she thought was the gold medal.
Annemiek van Vleuten celebrates, unaware Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria finished more than a minute ahead of her.
Marianne Vos lead the group across the line, just out of the medals and 1:39 behind the winner.
After a long day chasing breaks and setting up Coryn Rivera, an exhausted Leah Thomas crossed the finish line.
Her work done for the day, Ruth Winder waved to the fans as she nears the finish line.
Chloé Dygert crossed the finish line in 31st place, the first competitive race since her accident in the time trial at the 2020 world championships.
2021 Olympic women’s road race podium: Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna Kiesenhofer, and Elisa Longo Borghini.