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FROOME'S GOT THE JUNGLE BOOKED; we'll take you there Chris takes bronze then sets-up six-hour ride.

Byline: MIKE WALTERS in rio

CHRIS FROOME will 'unwind' after his crusade to win Olympic gold came up short - by going on a sixhour training ride through the Brazilian jungle.

The Brit was looking to emulate Sir Bradley Wiggins' feat of Tour de France triumph and Olympic time trial gold at London 2012 but could only manage a bronze medal.

Froome's warning that Swiss time trial specialist Fabian Cancellara, 35, would be one of his most dangerous rivals proved stunningly prophetic.

The rider nicknamed Spartacus, who retires this year, posted a lung-bursting time of 1hr 12min 15.42sec on the 35-mile course in damp conditions and the rest of the field couldn't live with him.

Without Australia's Rohan Dennis - who maintained the fastest-ever average speed in a Tour de France time trial in Utrecht last year - being held up by a late bike change, Froome would have missed out on the podium altogether.

Sportingly, he refused to offer any excuses, rejecting head of British Cycling Andy Harrison's feeble alibi that Froome had been suffering from a "tight chest" for several days.

And in the spirit of a true champion, his response was to put himself through 150 miles of self-flagellation in the saddle today.

He said: "Maybe some people will regard a bronze medal as a disappointment but I'm extremely happy to have medalled again after winning the Tour for a third time.

"If the weather's not too rough, I'll head out on my bike tomorrow because the chances are I will be riding in the Vuelta a Espana later this month.

"I haven't done any big training rides since the Tour, so I'll do five or six hours to get some miles in my legs.

"Maybe I'll do a few more laps of the TT circuit - it seems to be the best road around here!" For Froome to win his third Yellow Jersey, after flogging himself up murderous Alpine slopes, and match the bronze medal he won in the 2012 time trial is no mean achievement.

But he was off the pace, 19 seconds down, at the first timecheck on the bumpy Grumari circuit - and he never looked like retrieving the deficit.

Dutchman Tom Dumoulin took the silver medal, 47sec behind Cancellara, with Froome - last man off the ramp - more than a minute away from gold.

Cancellara said: "This was the last big time-trial of my life. It means so much.

"After missing out on gold in London and all the ups and downs since, this is an amazing feeling to win gold."

In the women's time trial, Emma Pooley - silver medallist in Beijing - finished a poor 14th.

She said: "I don't know what the future holds for me now - I'll have to look at my budget but I might go back to a normal job."

Russian dope cheat Olga Zabelinskaya was edged out by US star Kristin Armstrong, who sealed a hat-trick of Olympic titles.

CAPTION(S):

AGAINST THE CLOCK Dumoulin, left, the retiring Cancellara and Brit Froome

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 11, 2016
Words:500
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