Chris Froome won Team GB's seventh medal of Rio 2016 after crossing the line third fastest in a time trial hit by strong wind and rain by the sea in Pontal.
The three-time Tour de France champion was last to set off in the men's race, but admits he didn't have the legs to challenge winner Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland on the hilly circuit.
For Froome, it is his second Olympic Games bronze medal, following his third place at London 2012, and following his third Tour win in July he says it's been a great couple of months.
“It’s been an amazing summer. Winning the Tour was a big target for me and coming here to try and back it up," he said. "Just to be at the Olympics is really special, but to come away with another medal is even more special.”
Froome finished over a minute down on Cancellara, who regained his Olympic title from Beijing 2008, with Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands 15 seconds ahead of the Brit. Geraint Thomas, Team GB's other entrant in the race, finished in ninth position.
The riders had to contend with wet roads and blustery winds on the 54.5km course, which followed the same circuit in Grumari as Saturday's road race.
“They were tough conditions. I tried to hold something back for the second lap but I got into it and just didn’t have the legs to really push on," Froome said.
“It’s been an amazing summer. Winning the Tour was a big target for me and coming here to try and back it up. Just to be at the Olympics is really special, but to come away with another medal is even more special.”
The men's race followed the women's event, in which Emma Pooley finished 14th, admitting that her slight frame didn't make things easy in the torrid conditions.
"We knew there was a chance of rain," she said. "With my physiology it’s a bit tougher when there’s a strong, blustery wind like that because it makes it harder to control the bike. But that’s bike racing, you get what you’re given on the day."
Kristen Armstrong of the USA created history by winning her third consecutive Olympic title, a day shy of her 43rd birthday.