RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands won the gold medal of the women's cycling road race at the Rio Olympic Games here on Sunday.
Breggen clocked a winning time of three hours 51 minutes and 27 seconds to take the glory.
"I am so happy with the gold. All three of us realised we had to pull because the medals were in play. I am so happy to keep the gold medal within the Dutch cycling team." said Breggen.
Emma Johansson of Sweden took the silver, while the bronze medal went to Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy.
"It would have been nice to have been one step higher on the podium but I left everything out on the road. Sometimes it's easier to lose than to win, so silver is a good result." said Johansson.
For most of the race, it was generally close. Nobody stood far out from the peloton as it closed toward the final 30 kilometers of the race when American Kristin Armstrong led her two teammates sprinted out.
Breggen's teammate Annemiek van Vleuten passed the Americans with less than 11km to go, but crashed dramatically on the descent, which allowed American Mara Abbott to take the lead, while followed by Breggen, Johansson and Borghini in a group.
Abbott had an advantage of almost 40 seconds as the descent flattened out, but was caught in the final 200m and denied a medal.
"We saw that Mara Abbott was getting weaker and we gave it our all." added Breggen.
A total of 68 cyclists featured in the route for the 2016 Rio Olympic women's cycling road race, which covers a distance of 136.9 kilometers as it begins and ends at Fort Copacabana.