If you were wondering if it was possible to show off for three weeks on the Tour de France, swallow twelve hours on the plane and perform brilliantly less than a week after arriving on the Champs-Elysées, the answer is yes. .
Contested around Mount Fuji, the Olympic road race crowned the third in the Great Loop, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, and offered a podium to its winner Tadej Pogacar and one of its main animators, the Belgian Wout Van Aert.
An impressive podium.
Obviously not so blunt as that by his efforts on the French roads, the runner of Ineos Grenadiers broke away with Brandon McNulty after the ascent of the pass of Ikumi, the most difficult part of the 4,800 meters of vertical drop spread over the 234 kilometers of the day.
A new acceleration at six terminals from the finish to win the American from the luggage rack, and to the winner of the 2019 Giro to take off to become the second Olympic medalist of his country, after the walker Jefferson Pérez, in gold in 1996 and in silver in 2008.
Read alsoFollow minute by minute the first day of the Tokyo Olympics
Behind, the strong group explained themselves to the sprint on the Fuji Speedway motor circuit, acclaimed by the public present on one of the rare sites which are not prohibited to them by health constraints.
Not the kind of configuration to be favored by David Gaudu, leader of a French team amputated by Julian Alaphilippe and Romain Bardet.
After hanging onto the Mikuni, the Groupama-FDJ climber was unable to join in the fight for the podium, taking seventh place.
A beautiful bike in a splendid setting and with the leaders of the peloton, in short.
And that's good, they will be back on Tuesday with the time trial.
Among the favorites, we will find the Italian Filippo Ganna, but also the Swiss Stefan Küng and Wout Van Aert.
Two men still ready to play the extension of the Tour de France.