Primoz Roglic from Slovenia is the new Olympic men’s time trial cycling champion. Ten months after the dramatic afternoon in which the Tour de France was stolen on the Planche des Belle Filles, as well as the role of the sporting icon of his country, by the young compatriot Tadej Pogacar, the beardless 31-year-old from Trbovlje lived the day sweeter in his nine-year career. His triumph was clearly highlighted by the numbers. Compared to the 55’04 ”with which he covered the distance of 44.2 kilometers at an average of 48.157 km / h, none of his antagonists managed to produce anything vaguely competitive, all finishing more than a minute apart. Yet a glance at the route should have suggested to the insiders that the design was tailor-made for Roglic. The belief, proved wrong today, that the Slovenian suffered from important events had led many to exclude the former ski jumper from the predictions of the eve.
Dutch revenant Tom Dumoulin confirmed the silver he won in Rio de Janeiro five years ago behind Swiss Fabian Cancellara. The problem, however, is that the Maastricht butterfly has never been in the fight for the gold medal. Detached from Roglic by three seconds already at the first split time, the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia saw his delay grow in an inexorable and constant way, managing to keep the place of honor for just two and a half seconds on the Australian Rohan Dennis . The two-time champion 2018/19, in turn, kept the Swiss Stefan Kung down from the podium by a mere 40 hundredths of a second with our Filippo Ganna one second in the middle behind. In practice, there was a gap of only four seconds and 35 hundredths between the second and fifth classified. It would have been the most exciting time trial in history, had Roglic not been in the race.
The big disappointment of the day is represented by the sixth place, at 1’40 “from the winner, of the Belgian Wout Van Aert, never fighting for a medal. The Flemish paid for the energy spent on Saturday in the online race. Filippo Ganna, on the other hand, was unable to find the shape of the month of May when he competed in a sumptuous Giro d’Italia, winning the two time trials, opening and closing the three weeks. In between, the Verbanese did a lot of work for Egan Bernal, who won in Milan. Unforgettable is the moment, on the sixth stage on the plain of Castelluccio, in which a prolonged pull of it disintegrated the group into several sections. To think that that state of grace could be repeated only two months later, moreover in conditions not particularly suitable for him, was excessively optimistic. In the end, those riders who had focused the season on this deadline occupied the three steps of the podium. Roglic, who retired from the Tour de France on July 3, had more than three weeks to prepare for this event while Dumoulin and Dennis, for their part, had deliberately avoided running a big lap in 2021 to get in full force for today’s race. .
In closing, we cannot fail to mention the victory in the women’s time trial by the Dutch Annemiek van Vleuten. The woman who bears her birthplace in her surname has now finally won everything in her career, filling the only void on her trophy shelf with an Olympic gold and silver in Japan. At the end of the season, after she turns 39 on 8 October, Annemiek will be able to hang up her bicycle fully satisfied. Today she preceded by 56 “the surprising Swiss Marlen Reusser, with her teammate, but also bitter rival, Anna van der Breggen third at 1’02”. The perfect prelude to a day that would see the oranges eventually win three of the six medals available.
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