Athletes competing in the men's and women's road races got to experience something most other athletes in Tokyo Games do not: streets lined with cheering fans. The fans didn't hold back either, some brought drums, whistles and large signs to cheer on the cyclists as they battled to the finish line. Some fans even beat the heat and donned Miraitowa costumes, the official mascot of the Tokyo Games.
The road races were held outside the city of Tokyo where there are more relaxed Covid-19 protocols, which allowed for spectators. 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.
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.