Olympic road cyclists enjoy rare treat at Tokyo Games: Fans

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 25, 2021

Athletes competing in the men's and women's road races experienced something most other athletes in Tokyo Games will not: Cheering fans! 

The 137-meter race took competitor outside the Tokyo city limits, where more relaxed COVID-19 protocols allowed for spectators. And the spectators brought it. As seen in the video, fans came outfitted with traditional Taiko drums, whistles, and large signs. Some ran alongside the competitors while other endured the heat in Miraitowa costumes, the official mascot of the Tokyo Games.

The race stretched from Musahinonomori Park to the Fuji International Speedway and featured a heavy climb were fans' cheers were definitely a lift for riders. 

The men's race was held on Saturday with 128 athletes at the start. Ecuador's Richard Carapaz captured the gold medal with a time of 6:05:26. Belgium's Wout van Aert held off Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar to take home the silver medal. 

SEE MORE: Ecuador's Carapaz wins men's road race gold, Pogacar bronze

The women's race took place on Sunday and featured a stunning upset by Austria's Anna Kiesenhofer. It was Austria's first Olympic cycling medal in 125 years. Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini took home the silver and bronze medals.

SEE MORE: Austria's Anna Kiesenhofer wins women's road race gold