2016 Olympics are around the corner beginning this Friday at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
Cycling in the Olympics is a long stretching tradition that has evolved into 4 different disciplines: Road, BMX, Track and Mountain Bike. Let's find out what does Rio have planned for us and what story does each cycling discipline tell !
- Mountain bike cycling began in California in the 1970s, when “adventure” riders used their old bikes to explore trails and tracks in northern San Francisco.
- Olympic debut in Atlanta 1996 and has been present in all editions of the Games since then.
- The mountain bike circuit cannot have more than 15 per cent of flat terrain, requiring strength bursts in rises and great speed in descents.
- The multiple lap cross-country format is used for mountain bike racing in the Olympic Games. The first cyclist to complete all the laps and cross the finish line wins the race. A race lasts on average between 90 minutes and 2 hours, from the start until the last competitor finishes
- Cyclists compete on a course comprising narrow stone and grass trails, with steep uphill and downhill sections that often include natural obstacles, such as rocks and logs. The circuit is 5km long, but men complete more laps than women.
- 211 athletes/144 men and 67 women
- All the riders start together and must complete a course of 241.5km for the men or 141km for the women, with the first rider to cross the finish line winning the gold medal.
- 211 athletes/144 men and 67 women in road race
- Race against the clock, riders leave the start ramp individually, at intervals of 90 seconds, and complete a course of 54.5km for the men and 29.8km for the women, with the rider who records the fastest time winning the gold medal.
- 65 athletes/40 men and 25 women in individual time trail
- BMX race appeared in the Olympic Games for the first time, in Beijing 2008.
- Groups of 8 riders start at the top of an 8-metre high starting ramp into a circuit of 300m to 400m with lots of jumps, turns, rises and descents – and even flat parts. The first four athletes to cross the finish line advance to the following phase.
- Smaller than a mountain bike, the BMX bike has 20-rim wheels and only one gear and a break, besides having a resistant frame to support jumps and bumps throughout the circuit.
- BMX racing 48 athletes/32 men and 16 women
- The BMX competition is in the 'supercross' format: each heat has eight riders, with the first four to cross the finish line going through to the next round, eventually to the final.
- Track cycling races have existed at least since 1870. Races were disputed on tracks built with wooden cover, similar to the current velodromes.
- Except for Stockholm 1912, the discipline has been present in all Olympic Games since Athens 1986.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
- Taking place in a velodrome, track cycling includes speed and resistance races in individual and team competitions.
- They have only one gear and no breaks – a sudden stop during a race would represent a huge risk of accidents on the track.
- 186 athletes/ 88 women and 100 men
- Only the last 200m of the 1000m total are timed, resulting in explosive bursts of speed in the last few seconds.
- Athletes compete on a one-versus-one basis, with the first across the line going through to the next phase.
- Competing teams start on opposite sides of the velodrome. Men's teams consist of three riders who start the three-lap race together.
- Each lap must be led by a different team member, who drops out at the end of his lead lap.
Women's races have the same format, but are contested over two laps by teams of two cyclists.
- Competing teams of four riders start on opposite sides of the velodrome.
- The team that completes 4000m in the shortest time goes through to the next phase. In the final, if one team catches up with the other, the race finishes.
- An electric bike sets the pace at the front of the pack and cannot be overtaken. In the final 700m, the pacer leaves the track and the athletes race as fast as they can to the finish line.
- Known as the decathlon or heptathlon of cycling, with riders competing in six disciplines that demand both power and endurance: a flying lap time trial, points race, elimination race, individual pursuit, scratch race and time trial.
- The athlete who accumulates the highest points total is the winner.
Check out blog weekly during the Olympics, we'll have a whole series of blog posts!
Good luck to team GB in RIO 2016!
All info from https://www.rio2016.com/en and more can be found there!