Great Britain missed out on claiming their first medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the men's road race as Greg van Avermaet of Belgium sprinted to victory amid a chaotic contest in the Brazilian capital. Van Avermaet outlasted Denmark's Jakob Fuglesang and Rafal Majka of Poland - who led with 12 km remaining but couldn't hold on.

Favourite Vincenzo Nibali - the 2014 Tour de France champion - looked destined for victory but crashed on the final descent along with Sergio Henao with the duo and Majka seemingly having a stranglehold on the medals. The crash was one of several incidents during a frantic race which claimed several victims.

Among them was Team GB's Geraint Thomas who was the lead contender from Britain for a medal until he crashed in the closing stages. Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome was meanwhile never in contention for a medal but will have a second chance to add Olympic gold to his yellow jersey in the men's time trial next week.

But a race which ebbed and flowed - and was dominated by the topography of the picturesque Rio coastline - was eventually claimed by the 31-year-old Van Avermaet who despite having previously held the yellow jersey claimed the biggest win of his career.

"This is the biggest title I've ever had. Olympic champion - it was not the best course," he told BBC Sport. "It was not my favourite but everything in the last 10km-15km went perfect. A lot of guys crashed on the descent because they took some risks but I just kept it safe and stayed focused. I knew I had a good sprint so in the last 5km-6km everything went perfect. I was the fastest guy so this is an incredible moment."