Wednesday 29 January 2020

Ireland's Dan Martin equals Irish record with respectable finish in Rio

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche
Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche

Sean McGoldrick in Rio

Ireland's Dan Martin equalled the best ever performance by an Irish cyclist in an Olympic road race when he finished 13th in the 237.5km race which finished along the stunning Copacabana beach in Rio.

Martin, who spend most of the six and a half hours of the race in the top end of the peleton was beaten to the line in a sprint finish by Tour de France winner, Chris Froome whose dream of securing an Olympic medal perished in a searing heat. Nicolas Roche finished 29th.

Previously Ciaran Power finished 13th in the road event at the Athens Games in 2004.

Yesterday's race was full of drama with Italy Vincenzo Nibalo and Columbian Sergio Henao crashing out on a final descent nine kilometres from the finish.

This left Poland's Rafal Majka in pole position to claim the gold but he was caught before the finish line and Greg van Avermaet took the gold with Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang second. Martin was two minutes and 58 seconds behind the winner.

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