A first Olympic medal in cycling
Wout van Aert finished second in the Tokyo Olympic cycling race, giving Belgium its first medal of this Olympic Games.
The Belgian riders decided to take control of the race, repeatedly making the necessary efforts to catch those who had left in breakaways along the course. A lot of energy had already been expended to reach a chase group with less than 50km to go.
The final outcome was therefore decided in a few dozen kilometres of this 234 km long course with 4,865 metres of ascent. The last Tour de France winner, Slovenian Tadej Pogačar decided to attack, followed by a few other riders. Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel crashed out immediately, while Wout van Aert hung on. But left on his own, without any support, it was very difficult for him to reach the front of the race.
With 10km to go, the Belgian could still believe. But Ecuador's Carapaz, who was fresher, broke away alone to take the gold medal. Behind him, it was the sprint that was the key. And it was Wout van Aert who narrowly came in ahead of the two-time Tour de France winner.
This silver medal, won with spirit, is a reflection of the Belgian's great season.