Olympic Sports

GB’s Thomas crashes as Carapaz wins gold

Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas saw his medal hopes in the men’s road race dashed after crashing for a second successive Games as Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz won gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 35-year-old, who also came off his bike at Rio 2016, suffered a fall involving team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner, eventually pulled out with 60km to go.

Carapaz, 28, motored clear to win a thrilling race by one minute seven seconds from Belgium’s Wout van Aert.

Van Aert won the sprint for silver, beating Slovenia’s Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar, who took bronze.

British rider Adam Yates briefly led that sprint but finished ninth, while his twin brother Simon was 17th.

“I’m feeling beaten up but not too bad,” said Thomas, who will now focus on Wednesday’s time trial.

“I’ve definitely felt worse. The muscles and everything went into spasm almost.

“It was a freak thing. Tao slipped on the metal ridge in the middle of the road and I had nowhere to go, I just went straight down.

“We live to fight another day and I’ll try to rest up now to give Wednesday one last go.”

The riders finished in front of around 10,000 fans at the Fuji International Speedway circuit, with venues outside Tokyo allowed to host up to 50% capacity.

Thousands of onlookers also lined the streets to get a glimpse of the competitors as the 234km route weaved its way out of the city towards the foothills of Mount Fuji.

An early breakaway group opened a gap of more than 17 minutes as they hit the ascent towards the Doshi Road, the first of five climbs on a mountainous course.

It was on that stretch the British pair crashed, with two-time team pursuit gold medallist Thomas tumbling over Geoghegan Hart after the 2020 Giro d’Italia champion lost his front wheel.

That will have brought back memories of 2016 for Thomas, when he fell during the final descent in Rio, and of this year’s Tour de France when the Welshman dislocated his shoulder.

The leading riders were eventually reeled in and Pogacar saw a bid to break free snuffed out, before Carapaz and American Brandon McNulty went clear.

But it was Carapaz who had the legs to pull away once more for a superb solo victory that earned Ecuador only their second Olympics gold medal.

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