Kazakhstan’s Vinokourov wins gold in Olympic road race

July 28th, 2012 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinkourov was the surprise winner of the Olympic road race Saturday, as Britain’s highly-rated team failed to make an impression.

Vinokourov, 38, was competing at his fifth Olympics and the win was his second Olympic medal after his silver in Sydney in 2000.

The veteran rider, who was banned from 2007 until 2009 for doping, suffered a serious crash last year that put his career in jeopardy, but announced he would race for one more season in order to compete in London.

Rigoberto Uran took silver for Colombia as he and Vinokourov charged ahead of a breakaway group and had the stamina to stay clear until the finish on the Mall near Buckingham Palace.

Norway’s Alexander Kristoff out-sprinted the rest of the breakaway group for bronze.

A group of more than 20 riders broke away from the peloton early in the race and kept their advantage until the end.

Britain’s team, boasting sprinter Mark Cavendish and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, stayed in the peloton and tried to speed it up to catch the breakaway, but failed, in part due to little cooperation from rival teams.

Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara had been tipped as a possible contender for the win, but suffered a hefty crash with around 20 kilometres remaining and finished with his arm covered in blood.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
sr/dg

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