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The Olympians weren’t chasing KOMs in Rio last weekend — everyone knows that. But in their pursuit of gold, they did clock some smoking fast times on the tough climbs near Copacabana beach.
Naturally, the racers didn’t all upload to Strava, but from what we can see, there are a couple interesting trends. First, among the men, riders who got KOMs didn’t really come close to the battle for medals. That could be due to their roles as workers, motoring on the front of the group for team leaders, like winner Greg Van Avermaet, who’s Strava haul was modest on Saturday. Either way, a KOM in Rio is some sort of consolation prize, I guess.
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Second, the women are training hard — really hard. The select QOMs below are all from training, not from the race itself. Perhaps it helped that they were hitting those segments a little fresher in training, not as worn down from the fast race along the coast prior to the circuits.
Here’s the quick guide to five Rio Strava segments you should know (and probably not bother trying to beat).
Grota Funda (lado Guaratiba) – Italian Damiano Caruso was quickest on this climb from the day’s first circuit. He finished 40th Saturday. Australian Rochelle Gilmore wasn’t racing, but she snagged the QOM on Wednesday while riding with the South Africans … Cheeky!
Estrada das Canoas – Kazakhstan’s Andrey Zeits rode the first kicker on the Canoas circuit fast enough for a KOM and finished eighth. Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy has the QOM, but not from the race, from training on Wednesday.
Casa Prefeito – Mesa – Daryl Impey of South Africa now owns the KOM for the tough climb to Vista Chinesa, but he could only manage 28th on the day — more likely than not, he spent the day working for his teammate Louis Meintjes, who was seventh. Their countrywoman, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, is the fastest woman, but she did that ride on June 2. She was 10th in the road race.
Rio – Grumari circuit – Canadian Mike Woods clocked the fastest time on Saturday. He ended up 55th in the race, however. Emilia Fahlin of Sweden has the QOM on that loop but from July 30, not Sunday’s race. She could only manage 27th in the road race.
Rio – Canoas circuit – Sebastien Riechenbach holds the fastest time for the torturous final circuit. The Swiss was 19th in the road race. The women didn’t do the same final circuit as the men, so here’s your chance for a QOM, Rio ladies! But please, be careful on that descent.