Primoz Roglic utilized his road climb skills to put together a sensational time trial Wednesday afternoon in Japan, smashing the hilly course for Slovenia's first Olympic gold in cycling.
The 2017 world time trial silver medalist, who withdrew early from this year's Tour de France after a crash, masterfully beat his 37 competitors by more than a minute, covering the two-circuit, 27.4-mile (44.2-km) Fuji International Speedway-based course in 55:04.19.
Roglic isn't new to firsts for Slovenia — in 2019, he became the first rider from his nation to win a Grand Tour with his first of two back-to-back Vuelta a Espana titles. His teammate, Tadej Pogacar then won two of his own consecutive Grand Tour victories, winning the two most recent Tour de France competitions.
Pogacar won Slovenia's first Olympic cycling medal of any color with bronze in Saturday's road race, in which Roglic placed 28th. These Olympic results undoubtedly put the tandem among the most dominant cycling pair from any nation, rivaling perhaps only the Dutch women.
Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands was second-fastest for silver, clocking 56:05.58 to repeat his finish at the 2016 Rio Games. After dealing with a knee injury and an illness that affected his 2019 and 2020 results, the 2017 world champion announced in January that he was taking a break to determine if he still wanted to be a cyclist. But he returned to competition in June.
Australia’s Rohan Dennis earned bronze, just behind Dumoulin's time in 56:08.09. The 2018 and 2019 world time trial champion won track team pursuit silver at the 2012 London Games.
Reigning world champion Filippo Ganna of Italy placed fifth, while road race silver medalist Wout van Aert of Belgium finished sixth. American's Brandon McNulty of Phoenix and Lawson Craddock of Houston were 24th and 34th, respectively. McNulty was about five minutes back.
The men's time trial result concludes the four-event Tokyo Olympic road cycling program. BMX racing begins Thursday in Japan, or 9 p.m. ET Wednesday.