Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz wins men's road race at Tokyo Olympics (updated)

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TOKYO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Richard Carapaz became Ecuador's second ever Olympic gold medallist when he won the men's cycling road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games here on Saturday.

Carapaz, who finished third at the Tour de France last week, demonstrated his endurance and dashed out in the last two kilometers to clock a winning time of six hours five minutes and 26 seconds.

The Ecuadorian cyclist held his own on the brutal decisive climb 41km from the finish line, then attacking with American Brandon McNulty with 26km to go for the gold.

Carapaz held onto his winning lead over the final finishing circuit on the Fuji International Speedway to take the biggest one-day win of his career, claiming the first cycling gold for his country.

After the race, Carapaz spoke with pride about winning the gold medal: "The truth is it is an incredible moment that words can't describe."

"To my country, the truth is you have to believe, no? I have worked so hard to get here. I'm here, I'm enjoying [it]. It's something so big for me. And simply thank you for the support which truthfully really helped me get here," he added.

Wout Van Aert of Belgium took the silver, while the bronze went to Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia.

"We knew beforehand it was going to be difficult. The (Belgian) team did very well. Carapaz stayed ahead very well. We knew he would be very, very strong, and he deserved the win," Van Aert said.

Chinese cyclist Wang Rui Dong, who competed in his first Olympics, did not finish the race.

The route for the Tokyo Olympic men's cycling road race is 234 kilometers in length as it begins in Tokyo's Musashinonomori Park and ends at the Fuji International Speedway in the Shizuoka Prefecture. 128 cyclists competed in the race. Enditem

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