Tokyo Olympics: Roglic puts Tour de France struggles behind him with superb time trial

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Primoz Roglic eased to an emphatic time trial victory to clinch gold at the Tokyo Olympics, claiming Slovenia's first gold medal in any cycling discipline.

Roglic was pipped to the post in the 2020 Tour de France, when compatriot Tadej Pogacar stole a march on him in the final time trial.

The Jumbo-Visma rider's attempts to wrest the title away from Pogacar proved fruitless this year, as he suffered a huge crash early on in the race and was eventually forced to abandon.

He did not make the podium in Saturday's road race, Pogacar taking that honour for Slovenia, but Roglic hit back with a supreme display on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old finished the 44.2km course in a time of 55:04, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.

Roglic was never out of the top two. He led by 0.04 seconds after 15km, yet had dragged that lead out to 42.34 seconds at the 37km time check.

Rohan Dennis got the bronze, becoming the second Australian to win a medal in both road and track cycling, after Kathy Watt in 1992.

Dumoulin, a Jumbo-Visma team-mate of Roglic, became the first Dutchman to win two Olympic medals on the road, following his time trial silver in Rio.

Pre-event favourite Wout van Aert of Belgium was unable to keep the pace and finished down in sixth, while world TT champion Filippo Ganna had to settle for fifth.

TWO UP FOR SLOVENIA

Pogacar decided not to push himself for Wednesday's event, making Roglic Slovenia's hope, and he certainly delivered with what was a brilliant display of power.

Roglic's gold was Slovenia's first in cycling and the European nation's second at these Games, following Benjamin Savsek's success in the men's canoe slalom on Monday, equalling their best tally at a Games, which came in Sydney 21 years ago.

Dumoulin's silver, meanwhile, brought up the Netherlands' seventh medal of Wednesday. It has equalled their most successful single day (August 11, 1928) at a Games.

Team GB's two-time gold medallist Geraint Thomas finished 12th, capping a frustrating week after he crashed out of the road race.

"It was tough," the Welshman told BBC Sport. "I tried to start at a pace that we thought would be there or thereabouts for a medal. Then I heard I was 50 seconds down on Roglic which wasn't great for morale.

"It's been a super hard five weeks and it just seems to be one thing after the next. I just need to stay positive and try to keep going."

VAN VLEUTEN GETS GOLD, VAN DER BREGGEN GOES OUT ON A HIGH

Two of Dumoulin's countrywomen contributed to the Netherlands' medal count on Wednesday, with Annemiek van Vleuten finally claiming gold.

The 38-year-old thought she had won the road race on Saturday, but was mistaken. However, there was no such error on this occasion, as she won by over a minute on the 22.1km course.

She is the third-oldest woman to win an Olympic gold for the Netherlands, after dressage rider Anky van Grunsven (aged 40 years, 230 days) and rower Marit van Eupen (38y, 326d), with that duo winning in Beijing in 2008.

After her silver medal on Saturday, Van Vleuten is the sixth female cyclist to claim a podium place in the road race and the individual time trial at the Games.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten finally has an Olympic gold medal after obliterating the field in the time trial.

She won by nearly a minute over the 22.1km course, with Switzerland's Marlen Reusser in silver and Van Vleuten's team-mate Anna van der Breggen claiming the bronze.

Marlen Reusser of Switzerland finished second, while Anna van der Breggen boosted the Netherlands' count with a bronze – her third Olympic medal.

A surprised Van der Breggen was initially disappointed with her effort, but it was enough to ensure the Netherlands claimed multiple medals in a cycling event at the Games for the first time.

"There's not so much of a story. The time trial did not feel so good. It was not my best time trial. I thought it was nothing, and in the end it was a bronze medal, so I'm really happy to have a medal," she said.

The medal caps off a stellar career for Van der Breggen, who is retiring at the end of the season.

"A bronze medal is a great way to finish this all. It's my third Olympic medal and that makes me proud," she added. "I can look back on many great races and on a great career."


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