1 Pascal Richard (SUI) 4.53:56 Gold Medal 2 Rolf Sorensen (DEN) s.t. Silver Medal 3 Maximilian Sciandri (GBR) 0.02 Bronze Medal 4 Frankie Andreu (USA) 1.14 5 Richard Virenque (FRA) s.t. 6 Melchor Mauri (ESP) 1.15 7 Fabio Baldato (ITA) 1.28 8 Michele Bartoli (ITA) 9 Zbigniew Spruch (POL) 10 Johan Museeuw (BEL) 11 Jesper Skibby (DEN) 12 Lance Armstrong (USA) s.t. 13 Dmitriy Konyshev (RUS) 2.29 14 Serhiy Ushakov (UKR) s.t. 15 Wilfried Peeters (BEL) 2.32 16 Olaf Ludwig (GER) 2.36 17 Laurent Brochard (FRA) 2.37 18 Arvis Piziks (LAT) s.t. 19 Neil Stephens (AUS) 2.38 20 Erik Zabel (GER) 2.47 21 Laurent Jalabert (FRA) s.t. 22 Kaspars Ozers (LAT) s.t. 23 Robert McEwen (AUS) 2.48 24 Jaan Kirsipuu (EST) 25 Frank Van Den Broucke (BEL) 26 Miguel Indurain (ESP) 27 Vasiliy Davidenko (RUS) 28 Rolf Aldag (GER) 29 Andrey Kivilev (KAZ) 30 Jan Svorada (CZE) 31 Juris Silovs (LAT) 32 Francesco Casagrande (ITA) 33 Andrei Tchmil (UKR) 34 Michel Lafis (SWE) 35 Glenn Magnusson (SWE) 2.49 36 Lauri Aus (EST) 37 Maurizio Fondriest (ITA) 38 Hendrik Dekker (NED) 39 Orlando Rodrigues (POR) 40 Brian Holm (DEN) 41 Steven Bauer (CAN) 42 Lars Michaelsen (DEN) 43 Olev Pankov (UKR) 44 Werner Riebenbauer (AUT) 45 Erik Breukink (NED) 46 Harald Morscher (AUT) 47 Ruber Marin Valencia (COL) 48 Pedro Lopes (POR) 49 Andres Lauk (EST) 2.50 50 Slawomir Chrzanowski (POL) 51 Pavel Tonkov (RUS) 52 Beat Zberg (SUI) 53 Aleksandr Vinokurov (KAZ) 54 Peter Wrolich (AUT) 55 Markus Andersson (SWE) 56 Aart Vierhouten (NED) 57 Joona Laukka (FIN) 58 Pyotr Ugryumov (RUS) 59 Milan Dvorscik (SVK) 60 Johan Bruyneel (BEL) 2.51 61 Douglas Ryder (RSA) 62 Georg Totschnig (AUT) 63 Kari Miirylainen (FIN) 64 Michael Barry (CAN) 65 Damian Mcdonald (AUS) 66 Richard Reid (NZL) 67 Abraham Olano (ESP) 2.52 68 Jan Valach (SVK) 69 Pavel Kavetskiy (BLR) 70 Robert Pintaric (SLO) 71 Eduardo Graciano (MEX) 2.53 72 David Mccann (IRL) 73 Veceslav Oriol (MOL) 74 Gregory Randolph (USA) 75 Gord Fraser (CAN) 76 George Hincapie (USA) 77 Manuel Fernandez (ESP) 78 Nuno Marta (POR) 79 Malcolm Elliot (GBR) 80 Eric Wohlberg (CAN) 2.54 81 Peter Luttenberger (AUT) 82 Mario Cipollini (ITA) 83 Didier Rous (FRA) 84 Javier Zapata Villada (COL) 85 Aleksandr Shefer (KAZ) 86 Oscar Giraldo Hernandez (COL) 87 Bjarne Riis (DEN) 2.55 88 Jacques Landry (CAN) 89 Andrey Teteryuk (KAZ) 90 Eduardo Uribe (MEX) 91 Mauro Ribeiro (BRA) 92 Dainis Ozols (LAT) 93 Steve Hegg (USA) 94 Tomasz Brozyna (POL) 2.56 95 Remigijus Lupeikis (LIT) 96 Raido Kodanipork (EST) 97 Blayne Wikner (RSA) 98 Stephen Hodge (AUS) 2.57 99 John Tanner (GBR) 100 Dzhamolidin Abduzhaparov (UZB) 101 Marino Alonso (ESP) 102 Patrick Jonker (AUS) 103 Yevgeniy Berzin (RUS) 104 Alex Zulle (SUI) 2.58 105 Rolf Jaermann (SUI) 106 Romans Vainsteins (LAT) 107 Frederic Moncassin (FRA) 2.59 108 Tristan Henri Hoffman (NED) 109 Tom Steels (BEL) 3.00 110 Thomas Frischknecht (SUI) 4.08 111 Daniel Nelissen (NED) 4.12 112 Candido Barbosa (POR) 7.33 113 Yevgeniy Golovanov (BLR) 11.42 114 Pavol Zauban (SVK) 115 Hussein Monsalve (VEN) 116 Irving Aguilar (MEX) 11.43
Max Sciandri, the other member of the three-man break who escaped with 30kms to go, took the bronze for Britain.
Richard and Sorensen, who won succeeding stages on this year's Tour de France (12th and 13th), dropped Sciandri in the closing 50 metres and were both credited with 4hr 53min 56sec.
Less than a wheel's length kept Sorensen from completing a magnificent Danish double in the sport after Bjarne Riis had defied mighty Miguel Indurain to win the Tour de France 10 days earlier.
It was a disappointing result for Anglo-Italian Sciandri, who finished two seconds later after being involved in no fewer than three three-man breaks from the halfway stage onwards.
Sciandri lives in Italy but switched allegiance to Britain last year, by virtue of being born in Derby to an English mother. He was discovered by the British public when he won a stage on the 1995 Tour de France.
Starting out with Dane Brian Holm and American George Hincapie, Sciandri survived when that trio was replaced by another with Hincapie's teammate Frankie Andreu and Spaniard Melchor Mauri.
They were caught, but not dropped, by about a dozen pursuers with four laps to go on the route through Buckhead, an affluent, wooded residential area and a nightclub zone for Atlanta's youth.
Lance Armstrong, the 1993 world champion from Texas, was the next to try his luck with a solo break on the following lap -- but the lead group would have none of it.
Richard, who outsprinted Armstrong to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race in April, soon pulled up alongside, and was followed by the indefatigable Sciandri.
Armstrong fell back, to be replaced by Sorensen in the new lead trio, whose lead hovered around the 25sec mark with two laps to go.
However, as the race wound towards the finish, the pacesetters continued to pull away and the pursuers began to break up.
Andreu's patience ran out with the lack of progress and he broke away from the pack, crossing the line for the final lap 37sec behind the lead trio but 30sec clear of the rest.
But it was too late for a medal, and the lead trio were able to hit the final straight unchallenged.
He edged out Dane Rolf Sorensen in the last 50 meters with Britain's Max Sciandri taking the bronze in the 222 kms race in the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead.
The three riders had escaped 35 kms from the finish and were pursued for the last 26 kms by American Frankie Andreu after a race packed with attacks from the first of the 17 laps past the manicured lawns of mansions.
Richard, 32, is only Switzerland's second Olympic medallist in the road race. Bernhard Britz won a bronze 64 years ago in the Los Angeles Games.
His sprinting ability took him to a Tour de France stage win this year, which coupled with a Tour of Italy stage success and his victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic put him among the favorites for a medal.
Always sharp to spot a winning move he countered an attack by Sorensen who had joined Sciandri, and the medal battle was on.
``This is my greatest victory. I dedicate it to my family and my father,'' he said, then looking skywards burst into tears.
``I attacked three or four times despite being watched closely by the rest. I did most of the work in the breakaway, and although the others were once my team mates this is the Olympics and it is every man for himself.''
Sorensen, whose father raced in the 1960 Olympics, had based his season around the Games. ``I only rode the Tour de France to complete my build-up for the Games,'' he said.
Sciandri, the Derby-born Italian who used his birthright to win selection for Britain, did not fail his new team, giving them their first road race medal since Alan Jackson's Olympic bronze in 1956. ``It was a very confused race. I really did not know what to do, and I was lucky to be in the leading group,'' he said.
The tempo of the race rose with each lap, and when American Lance Armstrong made his big move 39 kms from the finish, the response was immediate. He was drawn back as an 11-man group bore down on him, and the decisive move developed.