With cobbles, steep climbs, rapid and technical descents and a fast finish alongside Copacabana beach, the Rio 2016 road races proved every bit as unpredictable as expected.

Belgium's Greg van Avermaet won the men's race to claim the first cycling gold medal of the 2016 Olympic Games, while Anna van der Breggen won women's road race gold for the Netherlands.

Greg Van Avermaet, Rio 2016, men's Olympic road race (Pic: Sirotti)

Greg Van Avermaet, Rio 2016, men's Olympic road race (Pic: Sirotti)

Greg Van Avermaet, Rio 2016, men's Olympic road race, Rafal Majka, Jacob Fuglsang (Pic: Sirotti)

Great Britain's Geraint Thomas was among the riders to crash on the Vista Chinesa descent in the men's race, while Annemiek van Vleuten suffered a bad crash while leading the women's race - the Dutch team later confirming three small fractures in her back and severe concussion, but no internal bleeding.

- Greg van Avermaet wins first cycling medal of Rio 2016 -

Lizzie Armitstead, after a turbulent week, finished fifth in the women's road race, meanwhile, unable to add to her silver medal at London 2012.

- Anna van der Breggen wins women's toad race at Rio 2016 -

Relive two enthralling races in the gallery below.