USA top the road cycling medals table after mixed handbike relay triumph

Italy's Pizzi brothers strike gold in the men's B road race. 08 Sep 2012
Ivano and Lucca Pizzi - Cycling

Ivano and Lucca Pizzi of Italy celebrate winning gold in the Men's Individual B road race.


"I came here for three golds and I got them."

USA’s Marianna Davis, Matthew Updike and Oscar Sanchez clinched gold in the mixed handbike relay after holding off a strong challenge from Italy.

The American trio each rode three laps of a 3km circuit, and were able to keep ahead of Italian team Francesca Fenocchio, Vittoria Podesta and crowd favourite Alessandro Zanardi.

The USA’s victory saw them top the road cycling medals table after claiming five golds – one more than Germany and Italy.

Davis said: “I came here for three golds and I got them. This was the one I was most nervous about. You don’t want to let your teammates down.”

Italy’s moment of glory came before the relay when the Pizzi brothers Ivano and Lucca won the Men’s B road race over 104km. Despite flatting on the ninth of 13 laps, they managed to get back into the race and then make the difference on the last hill in the final lap.

“I told my brother ‘it’s now or never’ and we broke away from the rest.’” said Ivano Pizzi. “It’s a fantastic joy.”

Ivano added that their victory was revenge for missing out on a medal in the time trial by two seconds three days earlier. He said: “Those two seconds have been difficult to swallow. Today we had our redemption.”

The final day of cycling (8 September) started with another victory for the home crowd, with David Stone triumphing in the Mixed T1-2. Double Paralympic champion in Beijing, Stone had been disappointed with his third place in the time trial on Wednesday (5 September).

“It makes it better to win today because it was so disappointing not winning in the time trial,” said Stone. “The crowd was fantastic. I couldn’t let them down today.”

In the Women’s B 80km race, victory went to 2012 UCI World Cup winner Robbi Weldon and pilot Lyne Bessette. The Canadians broke away with the Spanish pair Josefa Benitez Guzman and Maria Noriega but made the difference in the last of the 10 laps. Further back, the Netherlands won a bunch sprint for the bronze medal.

Bessette said: “We ended the Games on a good note. I wanted a beautiful ending, and it happened. I can leave happy.”