Olympic debutant Anna Shackley led Team GB riders with an excellent performance as the road cycling events concluded at the Tokyo Olympics with the women’s and men’s individual time trials.
Former Grand Tour winners Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart finished 12th and 29th, respectively, in the men’s race on a hot, humid and windy day at the Fuji International Speedway.
Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Annemiek van Vleuten from the Netherlands were the gold medalists with the Dutch rider making up for her disappointment of “only” winning silver in the women’s road race.
But, after her sterling efforts in riding for team-mate Lizzie Deignan in the road race on Sunday, Shackley could be delighted with her efforts in finishing 18th over the 22.1km course.
The 20-year-old Scottish rider, who is far from a specialist at the time trial discipline, finished strongly over the closing kilometres to cross the line in a time of 34:13.60.
That left her three minutes outside the podium places and marked one of the best results so far of her promising young career.
Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser took silver in the women’s race, 56.47 seconds behind van Vleuten, with Anna van der Breggen picking up another podium place for the Dutch with the bronze.
A thrilling men’s race, which covered two laps for a total of 44.2km, saw the top five riders separated by barely 10 seconds after the first circuit.
But Roglic put in an astonishing second lap to take the win in a time of 55:04.19, over a minute clear of silver medallist Tom Dumoulin.
Less than two seconds separated the next three riders, with Australia’s Rohan Dennis edging out Stefan Kueng (Switzerland) and Filippo Ganna (Italy) to take bronze.
Hart and Thomas were both involved in a crash which forced them to abandon Saturday’s men’s road race and struggled to find their peak form in the time trial.
“It was tough,” said Thomas. “I tried to stay on a pace I thought would be there or thereabouts for a medal and I was 50 seconds down on Roglic after the first lap.
“But the second time up the climb, I didn’t really have it there, Rohan passed me and that’s not good for the head when you get passed in an individual time trial. Your mind plays havoc with you.
“That re-focused me a little, because I had him as a carrot, but that’s just all I had. I did all I could do and I just have to be happy with that.”
Former Giro d’Italia winner Hart rode an improved second lap to emerge with credit while Thomas, whose career includes two Olympic gold medals on the track, finished 2:42.42 behind Roglic but just 1:38 off the podium positions.