(Bryn Lennon/Pool Photo via AP) More RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium out-sprinted Jakob Fuglsang and Rafal Majka on the long run to the finish at Copacabana Beach on Saturday to win the men’s Olympic road race. Van Avermaet threw his arms in the air and let out a roar when he crossed the line, blowing a kiss to the sky after the biggest victory of his career. Fuglsang followed him to take silver and Majka appeared content with bronze. His victory came after Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali , one of the prerace favorites, and Colombian counterpart Sergio Henao crashed while trying to navigate a corner on the final harrowing descent of the 6-hour race. interviewThe riders were going so fast that TV cameras on motorbikes couldn’t keep up, so it was unclear what caused them to crash. Both were still on the pavement when the cameras reached them – just in time to see Majka slicing through the shadows and riding away. Known more for his climbing chops, Majka was eventually reeled in as the race neared the finish, where a sun-splashed crowd that had spent the day on the beach gathered to welcome them. It was unclear whether Nibali was seriously injured, though he will no doubt reflect painfully on his squandered chance. The hard nature of the course offered a rare opportunity for the Giro d’Italia winner and former Tour de France champion to compete for gold. The long course was tightly guarded by police, no small challenge in a host country that has been dealing with spikes in crime. The only incident occurred a few hundred meters from the finish line, where a bomb squad detonated an unattended bag hours before the riders arrived.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://sports.yahoo.com/news/belgiums-van-avermaet-prevails-brutal-olympic-road-race-190147881–spt.html