The 2008 Men's Olympics road race took place on August 9 at the Urban Road Cycling Course. It started at 11:00 China Standard Time (UTC+8), and was scheduled to last until 17:30 later that day. The 245.4-kilometre (152.5 mi) course ran north across the heart of the Beijing metropolitan area, passing such landmarks as the Temple of Heaven, the Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen Square and the Beijing National Stadium. After rolling over relatively flat terrain for 78.8 km (49.0 mi) north of the Beijing city center, the route entered a decisive circuit encompassing seven loops on a 23.8 km (14.8 mi) section up and down the Badaling Pass, including ramps as steep as a 10 percent gradient. The race was won by Spanish rider Samuel Sánchez in 6 hours, 23 minutes, 49 seconds, after a six-man breakaway group contested a sprint finish. The hot and humid conditions were in sharp contrast to the heavy rain weathered in the women's road race the following day. The event was one of the earliest to be concluded at the 2008 Summer Olympics, taking place on the first day of competition. Concerns were raised before the Olympics about the threat of pollution in endurance sports, but no major problems were apparent in the race.

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Today's selected anniversaries:


Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last independent Prince of Wales to rule in Wales, was killed in an ambush.


Geneva successfully repelled a late night attack by the combined forces of Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy and King Philip III of Spain, an event commemorated annually during the Fęte de l'Escalade.


The British Parliament enacted the Statute of Westminster, giving the option of complete legislative independence to the Irish Free State, Newfoundland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was established to provide emergency food and health care to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II.


First Chechen War: Russian forces entered into the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya to control the secessionist movement.

Wiktionary's word of the day:

verbatim (adv)  Word for word; in exactly the same words as were used originally.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

Let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose falsehood as his PRINCIPLE.
--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn