5 Things to Know: Olympic Cycling

Vinokourov Racing the London Olympic Road RaceVino (third from left) made all the right moves in London. Photo: Greenwich Photography.

The road portion of the Olympic cycling events have wrapped with the conclusion of both the men's and women's time trials. And though results were unsurprising, overall the racing in these 30th Games has been much more compelling than last month's Tour. A few notes:

1. A CLASSIC: Though all the pre-race ballyhoo was about the Brits and supposed shoo-in-winner Mark Cavendish, the men's road race proved a catastrophe for the home team—which was a boon for spectators. Try as they did, Bradley Wiggins' crew of five simply couldn't control this Paris-Roubaix-length epic, and a powerful breakaway made for an engaging finale. Credit to the designers who built a course that allowed for such excitement, as well as to the teams that knew they couldn't beat Cav in a sprint and took the race firmly by the bars (think: Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and the U.S.). In the end, the wily 38-year-old Alexandre Vinokourov made for a surprising and controversial winner, with some disgruntled fans and pundits fixating on his doping past. We say that's sour grapes. Not only did Vino serve his suspension fair and square, but his aggressive racing and two perfectly timed moves show exactly why he's been so successful over the years. We wish more racers had his do-or-die spirit. Bravo!

Filed To: Athletes, Events, Biking

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