The time trial is often referred to as the race of truth but also sometimes thought of as quite a boring event. Wednesday’s Olympic time trials were anything but boring, with star-studded startlists in both the women’s and men’s events, and gold medals for two riders left disappointed in recent days and weeks.
With so much action crammed into just 65.6 km of racing across both events, we felt there was no better way to display the grit, determination, disappointment, and celebration than with a huge gallery.
So, put the kettle on and enjoy a selection of photos from the action at the Tokyo Olympics, courtesy of the Cor Vos photo agency.
Ashleigh Moolman finished in eighth place, 2:24 down on eventual winner Annemiek van Vleuten. Chloe Dygert was one place higher in seventh, not yet back to her very best following that crash at the Imola World Championships less than a year ago. Christine Majerus was one of five SD Worx riders on national team duty in the Olympic time trial. Elisa Longo Borghini couldn’t replicate her fifth place ride from the Rio Olympic time trial, finishing 10th on the Fuji Speedway course. Eri Yonamine was the sole representative for the host nation Japan in Wednesday’s time trials. Karol-Ann Canuel, another of the SD Worx riders, finished the day in 14th position. Sarah Gigante missed a top ten in her first Olympic TT by just one second or .02 km/h. The Olympics was her first event back after breaking three bones in a crash at Flèche Wallone. Masomah Alizada is participating in the Olympic Games representing the Refugee Olympic Team. Alizada fled Afghanistan in 2017 and settled in Lille, France before receiving an IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship in 2019. Lisa Brennauer is a former world champion and bettered her eight place finish in Rio with sixth on Wednesday. Everyone gives their everything at the Olympics. Grace Brown powered to fourth place on the day, just seven seconds off the medals – the worst position in the Olympics. Anna van der Breggen matched her third place finish in Rio with another bronze medal in Tokyo. She’s set to retire at the end of the year. Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) backed up her second place in last year’s World Championships and victory in the 2019 European Championships with an Olympic silver medal. Reusser’s medal was the country’s fifth in three days, making Switzerland the current leaders in the cycling medals table. Annemiek van Vleuten didn’t have to wait long to make the step from silver in the road race to gold in the time trial. She dominated the time trial, winning by almost a minute. Van Vleuten is on national team duty at the Olympics so had the freedom to use a non-Movistar-sponsor-correct helmet. It’s the first victory at a major championships for the new Canyon Speedmax UCI edition. Two medals in three days, and finally the gold she has chased since that awful crash in Rio. Reusser was well pleased with silver. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic time trial podium. In the men’s event George Bennett was off the pace in 25th position. The TT is not the Kiwi’s strongest discipline. Alexey Lutsenko might have expected more after seventh overall in the Tour de France and hilly time trial victory in the Criterium du Dauphine, but 32nd was as good as he could manage on the day. Aleksandr Vlasov finished 20th representing ROC. ROC is an acronym for Russian Olympic Committee and is the only text permitted on the team kit. Russia, the “Russia” team name, and Russian national anthem are currently banned from Olympic and other major championships until December 2022. Nikias Arndt was an early leader, but his time was only enough for 19th in the end. Patrick Bevin of New Zealand claimed 10th with a time of 57:24. Patrick Konrad (Austria) no doubt looked to compatriot Anna Kiesenhofer’s performance in the road race for inspiration in his time trial. Remco Evenepoel started in the second wave of riders and briefly held the lead, before eventually claiming ninth place. Richie Porte made his first appearance at the Olympic time trial, but was some way off his best, perhaps struggling after a long Tour de France which included at least one crash. Rigoberto Uran seemed on course to pull off another of his signature surprise TT results. He occupied the hot seat for a while but was ultimately keeping it warm for Tom Dumoulin and, ultimately, Primož Roglič. Tobias Foss had third and 12th place finishes in the two Giro d’Italia time trials but could only manage 23rd on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the Norweigian is another of Jumbo-Visma’s young prospects and one to watch for future time trials. Rohan Dennis was determined to put the broken handlebar disappointment from Rio behind him, and he did so claiming the bronze medal. Dennis has moved to Ineos Grenadiers and Pinarello bikes, but his TT position is still instantly recognisable. Filippo Ganna was one of the pre-race favourites but had to settle for fifth on the day – just two seconds off the podium. Stefan Kung was fourth, missing out on a medal by fractions of a second. No doubt he will be replaying every opportunity to go milliseconds quicker. The realisation of missing out on a medal was about to set in. Fourth in the Olympics is still an achievement to be proud of, though, and certainly worth ringing home about. Van Aert perhaps paid the price for all those efforts in the road race, finishing sixth on the day, 1:41 down on trade teammate Roglič. A special mention for the Cervelo Olympic paintjobs. Van Aert seemingly had different shoes for time trial day hidden beneath his aero shoe covers. With the Boa dial on the heel the shoes were likely an aero-gain-inspired change, and could be Bontrager Ballistas, Lakes, or some new Shimano we have not yet seen. Roglič (Slovenia) bounced back from Tour de France disappointment to take one of the biggest wins of his career. Roglič stormed around the two-lap course to win by more than a minute. Van Aert was one of the first to congratulate his Jumbo-Visma teammate. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) was back in time trial action and seemingly back to best with second place on the day. Dumoulin took a break from racing earlier this year, a move that has paid off and without which he said this silver medal would not have been possible. Dumoulin and Roglič just after the finish line … … and after the result was confirmed. Dumoulin seems happy and in form again. He will now be one of the favourites for the upcoming World Championships. The Olympic time trial podium. Roglič was clearly delighted and presumably somewhat relieved to pull off a huge victory after disappointment in Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Tour de France. With two medals from two men’s road events, Slovenia is once again celebrating its cycling team.