Olympics-Cycling-Austrian Kiesenhofer stuns Dutch to win road gold


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Cycling - Road - Women's Road Race - Final - Tokyo to Fuji International Speedway - Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria in action during the Women's Road Race. Pool via REUTERS/Michael Steele

TOKYO (Reuters) - Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer caused one of the biggest shocks in Olympic road racing history with an audacious victory in the women's race as the Dutch favourites paid for a tactical meltdown on Sunday.

The 30-year-old Kiesenhofer was allowed to build up a lead of around 10 minutes in a five-rider group that escaped right at the start of the 137km route into the hills west of Tokyo.

She then went solo on the approaches to the Fuji International Speedway circuit with around 40km remaining as the favourites, including reigning world and Olympic champion Anna Van der Breggen, failed to organise a proper chase.

In searing heat, the Austrian time trial champion kept her head down and powered around the undulating curves to protect her advantage in tenacious fashion.

As she ticked off the kilometres Kiesenhofer was clearly suffering and the only fear was that she might cramp after putting in such a monumental effort.

Her earlier escape partners Anna Plitcha of Poland and Omer Shapira were eventually caught by the pack in the closing stages. Kiesenhofer kept glancing over her shoulder and looked almost shocked to see no orange-clad Dutch riders in sight.

She held firm to claim a wildly-unexpected gold medal and after getting off her bike she collapsed on to the tarmac, crying tears of joy and gasping for air.

Dutchwoman Annemiek Van Vleuten, who had tried to launch an attack earlier in the race, was second with Italian Elisa Longho Borghini third for the second successive Olympics.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Cycling

Cycling-France's Alaphilippe retains men's world title in explosive fashion
Amarjit retains post in world body
Cycling-Italy's Balsamo pips Vos to win road race world title
Motorcycling-Fifteen-year-old Vinales dies after Superbike crash in Jerez
Pocket Rocketman to relax and smell the roses
Azizul goes Down Under to become a babysitter
Cycling-Nibali returns to Astana after five years
Cycling-Martin retires with Germany mixed relay title
Shah Firdaus to close 2021 with track cycling world meet in France
Cycling - Van Dijk beats Olympic medallists to win time trial title

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers