Where most tough bike races are defined by one particularly cruel feature (for example, the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix), the Olympics road race course has everything. The course is packed with cobbles, crosswinds, technical descents, and Grand Tour-length climbs. This is not to mention that Olympic teams are half the size of professional teams, and the race is currently taking place in nearly 90-degree heat. After a practice ride, one rider told Deadspin that it was harder than he expected it would be. It looks both antagonistic and uncontrollable, and the profile is sufficiently scary.
While descending the Grumari climb in the peloton group, Samad Pourseyedi, an Iranian rider, had to unclip when he nearly rode into a dirt embankment. It’s a minor miracle that he didn’t smash into anyone while swinging across the road, but since he unclipped, he was unable to slow down and avoid skipping this ditch and slamming into the wall/tree trunk here. He abandoned the race, and appeared to be in the process of undergoing concussion procedures when the race passed him by. We’ll update this post if more information becomes available.