Richard Carapaz causes great cheers in Ecuador . The overall third of this year’s Tour de France wins the gold medal in the demanding road race after a spectacular final.
After 234 kilometers and almost 5000 meters of altitude difference, Carapaz prevailed solo ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert and Slovenian Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar. For Ecuador it was only the third Olympic medal at the Summer Games after the walker Jefferson Pérez won gold in Atlanta in 1996 and silver in Beijing in 2008.
None of the Swiss quartet was able to intervene in the battle for the medals in the final. Team leader Marc Hirschi had to leave on the penultimate climb to the Mikuni Pass. The Bernese, who suffered a serious fall at the Tour de France four weeks ago, crossed the finish line in 25th place, 6:20 minutes behind the winner.
The Belgian Greg van Avermaet fell out of the decision early on. The 2016 Olympic champion put himself fully at the service of his team.
Favorite group busted in the last climb
For Carapaz it was by far the best result in a big one-day race, after having drawn attention to himself, especially on big tours. In 2019 he became the first Ecuadorian to win the Giro d’Italia, this year the 28-year-old also made it onto the podium in the Tour of France (third) after his victory at the Tour de Suisse.