Photo: Rigoberto Uran, Alexandr Vinokourov, Alexander Kristoff
Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Uran came tantalizingly close to winning his country’s second-ever gold medal but ended up settling for silver in a surprise-filled men’s road race Saturday, finishing just behind Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Vinokourov.
The 38-year-old Kazakh used a powerful burst in the final 200 meters (655 feet) to out-kick Uran after the two had broken free from the pack about seven kilometers (4.3 miles) from the finish line.
Vinokourov finished with a time of 5:45:57 - just a fraction of a second ahead of Uran - in the 249.5-kilometer (155-mile) race, which began and ended in The Mall.
Norway’s Alexander Kristoff took bronze after winning a sprint among the members of the trailing pack, which also included Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Luis Leon Sanchez.
Race favorite Mark Cavendish of Great Britain finished well behind the leaders.
Although Uran was unable to capture gold, the Colombian won the Andean nation’s fourth Olympic silver medal overall and first ever in cycling.
Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle won a bronze medal in the women’s points race at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Weightlifter Maria Isabel Urrutia took home the country’s lone gold medal when she won the women’s 75 kg class at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.