There are four disciplines of Olympic cycling at the Summer Games. London 2012 saw huge success on the track from Team GB, with 7 gold medals, and a team pursuit world record amongst other achievements.
Here’s what to expect for cycling in the Olympic Games, the events, the rules and when the race is on.
2016 Olympic Cycling Events:
6th, 7th and 10th August
Road cycling has been part of the Olympic Games since Athens 1896, testing an athlete’s endurance. The men’s race in Rio this year will take the cyclists over 241.5km in the road race, with the women’s route at a shorter 141km. There is also a Time Trial event that is part of road cycling at the Olympics. This is a race against the clock, with men racing 54.5km this year, women riding 29.8km, and quite obviously, the fastest rider gets gold.
Aside from the action and intense racing, there is a beautiful backdrop as the routes for the races at this summer’s Olympic Games will take the cyclists up stunning mountainous areas with views to die for.
11th – 16th August
This sport made its debut in Athens in 1896. The bikes are not too dissimilar to road bike in looks, but they function very differently. No brakes is one aspects, and they’re fixed to just one gear too. Riders brake by slowing down and reducing their pedal speed and power, and they choose which gear to ride on before starting the race depending on how much power they can exert.
There are many different races within track cycling – it can be hard to keep up (pun intended). At the Olympics, track cycling consists of three individual and two team events for both men and women. The main events that spectators thrive off watching are the team and individual pursuits – these generate a very competitive and exhilarating atmosphere amongst both spectators and cyclists deep in competition.
The track is 250m and wooden – burns when you fall off. Some riders have got some really nasty splinters from taking a brutal fall..this all adds to the action!
Click here to see pictures of the Rio Olympic Velodrome.
17th – 19th August
This is Olympic cycling’s most recent discipline. Having been introduced to the Games in Beijing in 2008, the sport has taken an uplift in excitement at the competition. It’s much more breathtaking than the standard road or velodrome as it mixes intense racing with jumps and plenty of action to keep you entertained. Known as ‘Supercross’ at the Olympics, each heat has 8 riders and the first 4 that cross the line get through to the next round. The winner of the last round wins gold (obvi). Crashes are not rare as the tight course mixed with big jumps and the adrenaline of the field of 8 riders can cause mayhem; especially when everyone is racing for that Olympic Gold!
The BMX track at the Rio Olympics is 300-400m long with big jumps and tight corners. Competitors ride a smaller bike with 20 inch wheels and one gear.
20th – 21st August
One of the most dangerous cycling disciplines is mountain biking. This Olympic cycling event made its debut in Atlanta 1996. With steep drops and natural obstacles, competitors ride at speed, pushing boundaries and taking chances over a multi-lap cross country course. Mountain bikes are different to road or commuter bikes – they are a lot bulkier albeit still remaining lightweight, as have suspension in the forks to allow for movement and impact absorption over obstacles.
Are you lucky enough to be flying to Rio as a spectator? Let us know and send us some pics over on social @ProBikeKit
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