• Viviani salutes the crowd before the emotion hits him
A tearful Elia Viviani (Italy) took some time to get his emotions under wraps after taking out gold in the men's omnium in Rio.
By
Cycling Central

16 Aug 2016 - 10:17 AM 

In a field stacked with some of road cycling's brightest stars, Viviani emerged on top as the most consistent across the six events, mixing power and endurance with race smarts to take gold ahead of Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark).

Other road stars, Fernando Gaviria (Colombia), Thomas Boudat (France) and Roger Kluge (Germany) looked strong at points throughout the race, but couldn't command the consistency of effort that Viviani managed.

The Italian, who races with Team Sky, was rarely far from the pointy end of the action. He finished:

  • 7th in the scratch race
  • 3rd in the individual pursuit
  • 1st in the elimination race
  • 3rd in the time trial
  • 2nd in the Flying Lap
  • 5th in the Points Race

Viviani went into the final event, the points race, in the lead and started strongly but was knocked off his bike by Park Sang-hoon (South Korea), who had collided with Cavendish coming down the banking and taking out Park's front wheel.

Viviani picked himself up after the incident which also took down Glenn O'Shea (Australia) and managed to fight off attacks to his lead from the others.

The British rider was not penalised over the incident and joined Hansen in taking the fight for gold to Viviani.

The gap proved too much for the pair to bridge to the Italian and Viviani took out the gold on 207 points to Cavendish's 194 and Lasse Norman Hansen on 192.

The season had been a pretty barren one for Viviani on the road, who despite possessing great speed, has trouble positioning in the sprints and rarely gets the leadout trains afforded to the other fast men. 

He only has two wins in the road season to his name, one in the Dubai Tour and another in the Driedaagse de Panne.