Cycling at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's individual road race

The men's road race, one of the cycling events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, took place on 28 July at 10 a.m. in central and southwest London and north Surrey,[2] starting and finishing on The Mall.[3]

Men's cycling road race
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
Alexander Vinokourov, Olympic Road Race London - July 2012.jpg
Alexander Vinokourov leading the breakaway group in the men's road race, approximately 10 km from the finish line on The Mall.
VenueCentral and southwest London and north Surrey[1]
250 km (155.3 mi)
Date28 July 2012
Competitors144 from 63 nations
Winning time5:45:57
1st place, gold medalist(s) Alexander Vinokourov  Kazakhstan
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Rigoberto Urán  Colombia
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Alexander Kristoff  Norway
← 2008
2016 →

Samuel Sánchez of Spain would have been the defending champion, but due to an injury incurred at the 2012 Tour de France he could not compete.[4] It was anticipated over one million people would line the route – a record for an Olympic event if reached.[5][6]

The race was won by Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov. He sprinted clear of Colombia's Rigoberto Urán, who claimed the silver medal. Alexander Kristoff of Norway won the sprint from the following group to take bronze.[7]


The top ten ranked countries in the final standings of the 2011 UCI World Tour qualified to have five riders to represent their respective country in the race. The nations with five-man squads were: Spain, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, United States and Switzerland; although Luxembourg placed ninth in the rankings, their roster was reduced to two men. Of the other nations on the World Tour, France and Denmark had four riders, Norway and Ireland three, Kazakhstan two and Slovakia, Costa Rica and Latvia one rider each. The top six countries on the UCI Europe Tour – Slovenia, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Turkey and Belarus – in addition to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, the UCI America Tour top three, UCI Asia Tour leaders Iran and UCI Africa Tour leaders Morocco, had three riders. The remaining nations in the race were represented by either two or one rider. There were a total of 144 participants.

Pre-race favouritesEdit

The Belfast Telegraph columnist The Punter considered the 2011 World Road Race champion, Mark Cavendish of Great Britain to be the favourite for the race,[8] although his chances were likely dependent on whether the race ended in a sprint finish.[9]‹See TfM›[failed verification] Cavendish was expected to be greatly assisted by his four-man British team which he labelled his 'dream team' prior to the race and regarded by Bradley Wiggins as 'possibly the strongest fielded in an Olympic road race'.[10][11]

Tom Boonen of Belgium, Australia's Matthew Goss, André Greipel of Germany were also tipped as potential winners.[12]‹See TfM›[failed verification] Other sprinters tipped for Medals included Tour de France points classification winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway – but both riders had perceived weaker teams than those of Great Britain, Belgium and Germany.[12]‹See TfM›[failed verification] If the race was to have ended in a sprint finish, Sagan and Boonen were tipped for victory, along with other classic specialists such as Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, the silver medalist in 2008, and Philippe Gilbert of Belgium.[citation needed]

The defending champion, Samuel Sánchez of Spain, did not enter the race due to an injury suffered at the 2012 Tour de France.[4]


Box Hill was climbed nine times in the race

The race was 250 km (155.3 mi) long and began with a mass start.[13][14] Crowds were bolstered by free entry for 150 km of the 250 km route,[15] recent British success in the 2012 Tour de France and the possibility of the host nation winning its first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics through Mark Cavendish. Originally 3,500 paid tickets were made available for the grandstand area on Box Hill where the cyclists would undertake nine laps, but due to demand this was increased to 15,000.[15]

Start list and final classificationEdit

The peloton as it passed Putney in Southwest London early in the race, en route to Box Hill.
The race going through Teddington

The entry list was published on 23 July.[16]

In the table below, "s.t." indicates that the rider crossed the finish line in the same group as the cyclist before him, and was therefore credited with the same finishing time.

Over time limit (OTL)
Under UCI regulations for one-day road races (article 2.3.039), "Any rider finishing in a time exceeding that of the winner by more than 5% shall not be placed".[17] Applying this to the winning time of Alexander Vinokourov resulted in a time limit of 6 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds.


  1. ^ "Olympic road race route officially revealed". Cycling Weekly. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2012. This extends the Games into the South West of London and Surrey
  2. ^ "Olympic sport competition schedule". London 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  3. ^ "The Mall | Venues". London 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b Elkington, Mark (19 July 2012). "Road race champion Sanchez out of Games". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Bring it on! Cavendish and Co on Box Hill as sprint star targets road race glory". Daily Mail. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  6. ^ "One million expected for road race at London 2012 Olympics". Daily Mail. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Vinokurov claims Road Race gold". London 2012. 28 July 2012.
  8. ^ "The Punter: Gold opportunity for Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish". Belfast Telegraph. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  9. ^ Richard Williams (22 July 2012). "Tour de France 2012: Mark Cavendish wins fourth Champs Elysées sprint". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  10. ^ "London 2012: Mark Cavendish hails the GB 'dream team'". BBC Sport. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  11. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (26 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Mark Cavendish and his dream team leave their strategy for Olympic road race in no doubt". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  12. ^ a b Fotheringham, William (27 July 2012). "Mark Cavendish: Thinking outside the box for Team GB at London 2012". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Olympic Cycling – Road – Information, History, Rules". London 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Road Race format competition". London 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b "More spectators will enjoy best views of Olympic Cycling Road Race". 25 January 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  16. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Games: Men's road race start list". 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  17. ^ UCI Cycling Regulations, Part II: Road Races, UCI, 1 February 2012, p. 31