234km race ends in stunning photo finish

2 months ago 18
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Ecuador star Richard Carapaz has claimed a historic gold in the men's cycling road race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, beating the rest of the field by over a minute.

The third place finisher at this year's Tour de France hung with the breakaway pack late in the race before tearing off for a stunning solo sprint to the end in which he opened up a minute on the nearest chasing group.

Embracing his nickname of "The Locomotive," Carapaz rode away from American breakaway buddy Brandon McNulty as they approached the finish at Fuji International Speedway.

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Richard Carapaz claims gold in Tokyo. (Getty)

The 2019 Giro d'Italia champion was emphatic on his final kilometre, willing himself on through pure elation as it dawned on him he'd be unable to be caught by the finish line.

Carapaz threw his hands up as he crossed the line, and embraced members of his team.

He slapped his handlebars in celebration and was greeted by one of the few crowds allowed at the Olympics.

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It is Ecuador's first ever cycling medal at the Olympics.

"The truth is this is the best moment," Carapaz said.

"The truth is it is an incredible moment that words can't describe... I have worked so hard to get here. I'm here, I'm enjoying — it's something so big for me."

Wout van Aert (r) from Belgium finishes ahead of Tadej Pogacar (l) from Slovenia. (Getty)

The scrap for second and third was also memorable as the chasing group neared the finish line as Belgium's Wout van Aert and Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar emerged for an epic sprint to the line.

A photo finish was needed to split the pair with van Aert beating out Pogacar to the silver medal.

- With AP

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