Sat July 28, 2012
Vinokourov Wins Gold Medal In Cycling Road Race
Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan won the gold medal in the men's cycling road race Saturday, edging Rigoberto Uran of Colombia in a late sprint.
The medal completes a vindication of sorts for Vinokourov, 38, who has previously been suspended for doping, back in 2007. He retired last year, after breaking his leg at the Tour de France. But he returned to the French classic this summer.
Americans Tejay van Garderen and Taylor Phinney were in a breakaway group that stayed ahead of the main pack late into the race. Vinokourov and Uran emerged from that group to make it a two-man race for the finish line. The race turned on a moment when Uran glanced to the wrong side — at precisely the moment Vinokourov dashed ahead for good.
The main group included Britain's sprinter Mark Cavendish and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, who took a turn at the head of the main pack late in the race, in an attempt to reach the breakaway.
Team Great Britain had planned for Wiggins to lead Cavendish, a devastatingly fast sprinter, into the final stretch and to a gold medal. But that plan was dashed when the breakaway group maintained a gap. Wiggins eventually faded off the back of the peloton.
With less than 10 miles to go, Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland was leading the breakaway group through a pair of turns when he went too wide and crashed into a barrier. He rejoined the race.
The race lasted nearly six hours.