- LATIN AMERICA
- MIDDLE EAST
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
2012 London Summer Olympics
[ Check Out Stunning Pictures from the Opening Ceremony ]
Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov is a little-known entity in road race circles, but he was involved in a 'road rage' on Saturday, which left the likes of Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins bruised and battered in one of the showpiece events of the London Olympics on Saturday.
The Londoners were expecting a sure-shot gold in the cycling event, what with local favorites, Cavendish and Wiggins (winner of the grueling Tour de France event recently), gracing the team. But the 38-year-old Vinokourov, who was quick to hang up his boots after the race, spoilt the party.
Colombia's Rigoberto Uran clinched silver, while Norway's Alexander Kristoff grabbed the bronze after the grueling 249.5km race. Cavendish finished a dismal 29th, while Wiggins was a poor 103rd.
Vinokourov has had a checkered history, with the Kazakh cyclist returning to resurrect his career in 2009 after serving a two-year ban for his involvement in the infamous drug shame at the 2007 edition of the Tour de France. But the gritty cyclist proclaimed after the race that the worst was over and he was looking forward to basking in the Olympic glory.
He was quoted as telling the media that that sordid chapter of his life was over. "I've come here today and achieved a dream."
Resigned to fate, Cavendish said that he was playing catch-up with a group of 22 "who got away and we couldn't pull them back". In the end, the nine laps of the hilly 15.4km Box Hill circuit took its toll on the home team members, nicknamed the "Dream Team".
Top eight finishers
1. Alexandr Vinokurov (KAZ) 5h45:57;
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (COL);
3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR);
4. Taylor Phinney (USA);
5. Sergey Lagutin (UZB);
6. Stuart O'Grady (AUS);
7. Jürgen Roelandts (BEL);
8. Gregory Rast (SWI).