When Rigoberto Uran escaped from the leading group during the Olympic men’s cycling road race, he was “thinking of gold.” However, the Colombian lost the sprint to Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan, because his legs thought otherwise, the cyclist told Colombian radio Saturday.
Uran’s silver is the 12th medal ever won by Colombia at an Olympic tournament and, according to the cyclist, was unexpected because of the strong competition particularly by the British team.
“To be honest I wasn’t counting on the medal but we have it now. This one is for all the people of Colombia who were hoping. Colombia, this medal is for you,” the cyclist told reporters after finishing.
Uran, followed by Vinokourov, fled the leading group of 12 less than seven miles before the finish which was when he realized a gold medal was within reach.
“I attacked and at the sprint I was thinking of the gold [medal]. However, one thing is what you think and another thing is what the legs say,” the cyclist told RCN Radio.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos immediately congratulated Colombia’s first victor at the 2012 Olympics.
“I want to express my happiness and I believe the happiness of all Colombians because we have just won the first medal at the London Olympics,” the President said at a public speech.
Colombia is represented at the 2012 Olympics by 104 athletes.