Richard Carapaz stormed to victory in the men’s Olympic road race as Adam Yates finished ninth for Great Britain after Geraint Thomas was forced to abandon following a crash.
Carapaz, third in the Tour de France last week, rode clear of Brandon McNulty with six kilometres of the demanding 234km race to the Fuji International Speedway left and held off the chasing pack to deliver only Ecuador’s second Olympic gold in their history.
Yates was part of a nine-man chasing group who crossed the line 67 seconds later. The Lancastrian had launched his sprint first, knowing surprise was his best opportunity, but he was soon swept up as Wout Van Aert pipped Tour winner Tadej Pogacar to silver on the line.
Adam’s twin brother Simon was 17th in a group that finished three and a half minutes back.
Their team-mates Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart were involved in a crash around 70km into the race when Geoghegan Hart got his wheel caught in a groove on the road, bringing down both men.
Thomas landed hard on his right side – having dislocated the same shoulder during the Tour de France – and pulled out of the race on their first passage of the line, still with 60km to go.
Thomas later tweeted: “All good with me. Thanks for the messages!! Think I must have done something bad in a previous life. Freak crash, Tao lost his front wheel and decked it in front of me. I had nowhere to go, other than the floor as well.”