Anna Kiesenhofer wins the gold medal in the women's road race

Road 25/07/21 20:45 Migue A.

The women's road cycling race started with a good weather forecast. 33 degrees Celsius in Tokyo and a partly cloudy sky, perfect for pedalling. A temperature that was worth the preparation of many cyclists. Ahead, 127 kilometres from Musashinomnomori Park to the now famous Fuji International Speedway, with that rather ugly entrance to the finish line, to be honest. But beautiful for Anna Kiesenhofer: the Austrian took the gold medal as a champion, going in alone and riding the whole day in a breakaway.


A harmless breakaway that would turn out to be lethal

67 riders took the start and among them, some favourites, including the Dutch. Van der Breggen as leader, Van Vleuten, Vollering and Vos as squad. However, the first attack was Austrian and South African. Cyclists like the Ethiopian Amha, the Eritrean Debesay, the Israeli Shapira or the Polish Plitcha. The British team pulled the peloton behind, just a few seconds behind.

The harmlessness, the apparent innocence of this attack on paper, caused the leading group to take four minutes. That lead group had split and was led by Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria, Carla Oberhoizer of South Africa, Vera Looser of Namibia, Poland's Anna Plitcha and Poland's Omer Shapira.


The peloton stayed together, except for a few attacks from Paraguay or Chile. Shapira, Plitcha and Kiesenhofer were also at the front as a trio in the lead. The dangerous thing was that the three of them started to relay each other and took 10 minutes off the peloton, a distance that was still recoverable but overwhelming.

Van der Breggen and Vos, who already know what it's like to touch gold, tried to stay calm, but Van Vleuten suffered a heavy crash and the team had to get down to work to get her back in the peloton. A scare. And a warning, because the Dutch said it was enough.


Kiesenhofer takes the gold in style

The Dutch team moved to the front of the peloton and started to pull hard. It was almost like an attack, but they were dragging a large, tight group. The US and Germany tried to cut the Dutch attempts short, but Van Vleuten was strong. These attacks brought the lead of the front group down to 8 minutes. With that gap, Van der Breggen attacked and broke the peloton. Then it was Van Vleuten again, and another stretch and the occasional drop. The Dutch were pushing hard and riders who had been tipped as favourites, such as Amanda Spratt of Australia, were dropping off.


In that break, Van Vleuten raised the pace again. And that attack was much harder: nobody could follow her. She put a minute into the peloton and cut the lead to 6 minutes. The race was completely broken, even more so when the leading trio, who had collaborated well, broke away. They were unhooked and each one started the war on their own. Bad strategy indeed.


However, Van Vleuten also slowed down and used that minute to eat. She knew that she was not going to make it alone, at least this time. Ahead, the lead was still there and there was panic because all the medals were there.


At that point, Kiesenhofer went solo and took a two and a half minute lead over the chasers. Behind, the peloton caught Shapira and Plichta and this relaxed them, because at least they could play for silver and bronze. But the gold seemed to be a long way off. And so far. The kilometres went by, and with less than 5 kilometres to go, Kiesenhofer still had a two minute lead. He felt like gold and seemed to be getting excited.


The Austrian took the most valuable medal and wrote her name in gold letters in the history of the Olympics with this victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Van Vleuten took silver after going in alone and saved the Dutch honour with a medal. Behind her, a small group of riders were fighting for bronze, which finally went to Italy's Longo Borghini. But there was a surprise in this women's road cycling event and a gold medal for Austria. Kiesenhofer earned it.


  1. Kiesenhofer, A. | Austria | 3:52:45
  2. Van Vleuten, A. | Países Bajos | 3:54:00
  3. Longo Borghini, E. | Italia | 3:54:14




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Anna Kiesenhofer da la campanada y se cuelga el oro en Ruta Femenina