The fireworks are bound to detonate in the second half of the race when the riders face the Vista Chinesa three times. This means three times an 8 kilometres climb at 5.7% with a steepest section at 11.9%. After the last passage at the top a technical drop at 6 kilometres leads to a flat closing section at 20 kilometres.
In order to win the race you have to be a good climber and descender. If you are clear after the last decent, strong time trialing skills should catapult you to the golden medal.
Nibali, Kwiatkowski, Pantano and Valverde are among the best descenders in the peloton. Furthermore, Nibali and Valverde are strong time trialist, which makes them top favourites. Valverde has another advantage. When the race boils down to a sprint with a select group he could be the man in bonus, too. Usually he is fast after a grueling race with plenty of vertical metres. Then again, Alaphilippe, Wellens and Poels are no turtles either.
Favourites road race Summer Olympics:
*** Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali, Julian Alaphilippe, Wout Poels
** Bauke Mollema, Jarlinson Pantano, Michal Kwiatkowski, Tim Wellens
* Rui Costa, Chris Froome, Tom Dumoulin, Greg van Avermaet, Daniel Martin