Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Vintage performance from Fabian Cancellara wins Olympic time trial

Spartacus will end career as Olympic champion once again

Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland will finish his career as Olympic time trial champion after putting in a vintage performance in Rio today, with Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands second. Team GB's Chris Froome, off the pace early on, finished strongly to take third place and bronze, the same colour medal he won in this event at London 2012.

The last of Cancellara’s four world time trial championship victories came in 2010 and most predicted that today it would be Dumoulin – still nursing a wrist injury from the Tour de France – and Froome who would fight it out for the gold medal, rather than the Swiss rider who retires at the end of the season.

On today’s 54.6 kilometre parcours, it was Australia’s Rohan Dennis – who early last year held the UCI Hour record – setting the pace early on, going through the second time check at 19.7 kilometres 24 seconds ahead of Cancellara, with the 35-year-old only fourth fastest at that point.

A broken tribar forced Dennis to change bikes, however, the Australian finishing fifth, a minute behind the winner, with Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo taking fourth place.

By the fourth and final time split at 44.4 kilometres, Cancellara, climbing well and descending with poise on the wet roads, had a lead of 33 seconds on Dumoulin, and would put another 14 seconds into the Dutchman by the finish.

Froome was the last rider out on the course, where conditions were only slightly kinder than they had been during the women’s time trial earlier today.

Off the podium positions at the first three time checks, he had saved enough for the finish to beat Castroviejo to bronze, Team GB’s first cycling medal of these Games.

The country’s other representative, Geraint Thomas, who was only confirmed for the event yesterday and who crashed heavily in Saturday’s road race, started well, posting the third fastest time at the first split, just six seconds off the lead, but finished 10th.

Neither three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany, silver medallist in London, nor the current holder of the rainbow jersey, Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, made an impact today, respectively finishing 12th and 17th, each more than 3 minutes behind the leader.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments