Richard Carapaz brought home the gold medal for Ecuador in the men’s Olympic road race in Tokyo on Saturday in a pulsating finale that saw the climber drop his main rivals on the last two climbs.
Carapaz made his first acceleration with 25km to go in response to a move from Brandon McNulty (USA) before dropping his breakaway companion and soloing to the win with 5.8km to go.
Carapaz held onto his winning lead over the final finishing circuit on the Fuji Speedway to take the biggest one-day win of his career. The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner finished with more than enough time to soak up the applause from the home crowd after six hours of brutal racing in hot and humid conditions.
In the sprint for the silver and bronze medals, Wout van Aert (Belgium) narrowly held off the late charge from Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia).