After a disappointing finish to the Tour de France, Slovenia’s P. Roglič won the men’s Olympic time trial on Wednesday in Tokyo with a dominant effort.
The 31-year-old athlete completed the 44.2 kilometre race in 55 minutes and four seconds, winning him the gold medal. He had the quickest times at every checkpoint except the first one, which was at 9.7 kilometres.
P. Roglič Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
P. Roglič was unbeatable, having paced himself brilliantly over the peaks to distance himself from his competitors on the difficult and tricky Tokyo circuit.
Unbelievably, no other rider came in within a minute of P. Roglič; the silver medal went to a resurgent Dutchman named Tom Dumoulin, who finished only one second behind P. Roglič on the Jumbo-Visma team.
Australian Rohan Dennis, who appeared to be in the lead at the halfway mark, had to settle for third place, 1:03 behind the winner.
Stefan Küng of Switzerland was devastated when he learned that he had lost out on a medal by a half second.
Italy’s world time trial champion Filippo Ganna started off strong and led the pack into the first checkpoint at 9.7 kilometres, but he never recovered from the race’s challenging terrain and eventually finished fifth.
Wout van Aert (Belgium), another pre-race favourite, lost it on the second lap and finished sixth.
It was clear that P. Roglič was giving his all in this performance. After being knocked out of contention in the men’s road race at the Tour de France on Saturday, the two-time Vuelta a Espaa winner entered the fray.
He jumped the gun and was only half a second behind Ganna at the first inspection. There was less than 10 seconds separating the top six finishers as the race began, but as the course progressed, the margins widened.
At 15 kilometres, P. Roglič was only a tenth of a second ahead of Van Aert, and Ganna, Kung, Dennis, and Dumoulin were only a few seconds behind. P. Roglič finished the first lap more than eight seconds ahead of his nearest competitors, and he continued to increase his lead over the rest of the field on the second lap.
Dumoulin was 42 seconds closer at 37.1km, while Van Aert was a full minute behind. While Dumoulin repeated his second-place finish from the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Dennis finished second on the road but slipped to sixth before rallying to win his second Olympic medal.