France dominate Rio 2016 road race test event as Vuillermoz takes win

Alexis Vuillermoz wins the Rio 2016 road race test event ahead of Serge Pauwels and Romain Bardet

Alexis Vuillermoz from France celebrates victory during the men's road cycling race "Aquece Rio International Road Cycling Challenge" in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, August 16, 2015.
(Image credit: Watson)

France, and Ag2r-La Mondiale, got two men on the podium at the Rio 2016 Olympic road race test event on Sunday as Alexis Vuillermoz did his chances of selection to the Games no harm by taking the win.

The French took a strong team to South America, with Romain Bardet claiming third place, Tony Gallopin in fourth and Thibaut Pinot in sixth.

MTN-Qhubeka's Serge Pauwels finished second to Tour de France stage eight winner Vuillermoz in the 165km race, which started earlier than planned due to anti-government protests on Copacabana Beach.

With demonstrations against the president Dilma Rousseff taking place the organisers said it was a double test event - one for the cycling, one for dealing with protests - but Vuillermoz said the event ran smoothly.

“It was an excellent event for me, especially because it was full of great competitors,” Vuillermoz told AFP.

“Obviously the event will be a lot bigger next year but I’m happy. The organization was great, there weren’t any problems.”

He added: “The course had some difficult parts, but I think it was a great test. The organizers can take a lot of confidence from today. It was of the same standard as events on the international tour.”