Race thread: Olympics 2020/21 Tokyo, Men's Road Race, 234k

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I'm not a big fan of Wout Van Aert but i feel so bad for him. Such a strong rider that's not afraid to take a turn but got Sagan'd once again just like in the Worlds last year.
The classic problem of being so strong that everybody knows you'll beat them at the end. People would be unlikely to help him anyway, but after his Tour exploits why would anybody collaborate with Wout, especially after McNulty was dropped by Carapaz - you're fighting for silver but tiring yourself out if you collaborate, and you're fighting for silver but being fresher if you don't. If he hadn't been as strong in the Tour he might have got better collaboration or, hell, if Roglič hadn't crashed out, so that he expended his energy more as a domestique than as a stagehunter, but then again would you trade the Tour that WVA just had to upgrade the Olympic medal from silver to gold? I don't think I would, but YMMV.
Wow, what a race. As expected, all important action started on Mikuni. When Pogacar and McNulty attacked I didn't think Van Aert would catch them at the end of the climb. He did an incredible effort on Mikuni, wow. OTOH Pogacar clearly didn't have his best wattage there. The decisive break happened later: at a plateau before a smaller climb when Carapaz and McNulty (again!) attacked. Afterwards another huge effort by Van Aert who decreased the gap from 45 to 14 seconds. They almost had them but then Carapaz attacked Brandon on another small hill and I felt it was decisive. Pogi almost passed Wout on a sprint! I thought he did it but Wout threw his bike better. Obviously a stellar podium, two guys from the TdF podium and Wout almighty. I feel bad for McNulty who was man of the day when it comes to attacks.