Cycling seems to suit the Swedish team in China, with Gustav Larsson’s silver medal following up on Emma Johanssons silver in women’s cycling. Larsson’s silver medal is Sweden’s second in Beijing so far.
Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara won gold with an impressive show of power in the final quarter of the race. American Levi Leipheimer won bronze.
Swedish champion Larsson, who rides for the same professional team – CSC –
as the Swiss powerhouse, was the provisional leader for the first two thirds of the race, but finally finished second in 1:02:44.
At first, 27-year-old Larsson led the race and it looked as though he might be gunning for gold. The Swiss powerhouse Cancellara beat him by 33 seconds, coming over the finishing line at 1hr 2minutes and 11 seconds.
Speaking to Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Larsson said that he was relieved the race went well.
“It would have been nice to beat Cancellara, but he was so powerful”, he said.
Cancellara has won the world title in the race against the clock in past two years, and he was the big favourite despite the hilly profile of the 47.3km course.
Bronze winner Leipheimer had a comparatively mediocre start but found his rhythm in the final quarter of the race to beat his Astana teammate, Alberto Contador of Spain, to the bronze medal.
The American, who finished third overall on last year’s Tour de France, clocked 1:03:21. Australian contender Cadel Evans was close to the bronze medal, the two-time Tour de France runner-up finishing five seconds behind Contador’s time of 1:03:29.