Olympic Cycling


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Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:33 am

Here's a link to the London schedule:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/cycling/resu ... index.html

First up is the Men's Road Race on Saturday, July 28 at 10:00 A.M. London time. If all goes according to plan for the host team, this race should look like a repeat of the final stage of this year's Tour de France, with Sky wearing Union Jack uniforms instead of their normal black and blue. The Men's Time Trial takes place on August 1 at 8:15 A.M. Who will win gold, Sparticus or Wiggo? And for track cycling fans like me, from August 2 thru 7, we'll see the men's and women's match sprints, keirins, team sprints and team pursuits.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby Master Po » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:44 pm

jazz --
Could you explain a little what are the events called "keirin" and "omnium" that I saw in an OG cycling preview? (I know I could google it, and I'm not that lazy -- I'd just rather get your explanation, having learned a lot about cycling from reading your posts on here the past few years.)
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:40 pm

The keirin is a basically a scratch race in which a motorcycle paces the riders for the first half of the race before it leaves the track. A scratch race is simply a mass start race around the track for a certain number of laps. Kerins are usually about 2 kilometers in length and they can be very dangerous. I've never built up the nerve to do one. Here's a good video of a keirin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-t8lFpLlaA

This is why I never did one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKUIl_pLrMc

The Omnium is basically the track and field equivalent of a decathlon in which riders must do multiple events with a cross country-type scoring system for each event. The lowest score wins. It's a pretty new event that wasn't around when I raced.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby Master Po » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:01 am

jazz -- Your thoughts on the road races?. As a non-cyclist, I found both races to be interesting, but I would be interested in your observations. Seemed like Vinukourov (sp?) rode a really smart race throughout, and especially late, covering Uran's breakaway and then sprinting to the right when Uran looked left at the end. In the women's race, it really seemed like the truly dominant athlete (Vos) won.

Also thought most of the TV coverage was good, with the exception of (a) the finish of the men's race, which showed too few replays (and I think no replays of the sprint for the bronze medal); and (b) in the women's race, the consistent mis-statement of the British rider Armistead's name as "Armitage" (to the point that even now, just before posting this, I had to look up again to recall which her name actually is).
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 am

In the men's race I thought everyone looked still worn out from the Tour. Vinokourov seemed to win more by default than anything else.

The Brits tried but pulling for 80% of the time was too much.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby Master Po » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:38 am

Conor Dary wrote:In the men's race I thought everyone looked still worn out from the Tour. Vinokourov seemed to win more by default than anything else.

The Brits tried but pulling for 80% of the time was too much.


I agree w you, which is part of why I thought Vinokourov was smartest on that day -- it seemed to me that perhaps he had a better grasp of this race's situation (one of the longer road races, on a challenging course, post-Tour, with smaller riding teams & no radio contact among riders), and so when Uran made his break, by going with Uran & working with him, gave himself the best chance at one of the top medals (as did Uran). In other road races, the chase strategy that was stated in the announcing -- if the chase teams were no more than 3 minutes behind at the crest of the last climb they could catch the leaders -- might have worked (this was attributed as the British strategy, but I would presume it applied to others, e.g., the German team). But here, perhaps for the reasons you stated and that I stated, it didn't work -- the chase pack never cut that ~1.5 minute gap by more than about half through most of the remainder of the race (though I realize the actual gap at the finish was smaller). In any case the risk/strategy the Uran & Vinokourov took on was well-rewarded, and it was enjoyable to watch it pay off. Given the way the race played out, what I most wanted to see was Phinney earn the bronze, but oh well.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:11 am

Conor Dary wrote:In the men's race I thought everyone looked still worn out from the Tour. Vinokourov seemed to win more by default than anything else.

The Brits tried but pulling for 80% of the time was too much.

I think the Brits made a mistake tactically. In the Olympics, you're only allowed five riders per team as opposed to nine riders for grand tours. Considering that one of their five, Cavendish, was just sitting it, it was asking way too much to expect the other four guys to keep the peleton together for a race that was longer than any stage in the Tour de France. Once there were 32 riders in the breakaway, it would have been a Herculean task to pull the race back together with a nine-man team, but with a five-man team it was impossible. Give credit to Wiggins and Froome for emptying their tanks trying give Cavendish a sprint finish as both of them blew up many miles from the finish line. What Cavendish and all the other sprinters should have done is get in that last breakaway group over Box Hill.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:19 am

Master Po wrote:Also thought most of the TV coverage was good, with the exception of (a) the finish of the men's race, which showed too few replays (and I think no replays of the sprint for the bronze medal); and (b) in the women's race, the consistent mis-statement of the British rider Armistead's name as "Armitage" (to the point that even now, just before posting this, I had to look up again to recall which her name actually is).

I believe complete, live, start-to-finish men's and women's Olympic road race coverage is unprecented in the history of American TV. It's ironic that because cycling isn't considered one of the big three Olympic sports, NBC chose to show it live rather than tape delay it.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby Master Po » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:45 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Master Po wrote:Also thought most of the TV coverage was good, with the exception of (a) the finish of the men's race, which showed too few replays (and I think no replays of the sprint for the bronze medal); and (b) in the women's race, the consistent mis-statement of the British rider Armistead's name as "Armitage" (to the point that even now, just before posting this, I had to look up again to recall which her name actually is).

I believe complete, live, start-to-finish men's and women's Olympic road race coverage is unprecented in the history of American TV. It's ironic that because cycling isn't considered one of the big three Olympic sports, NBC chose to show it live rather than tape delay it.


Yes, my complaints aside, it was great to get up the last two mornings to live coverage of these races. I hope the coverage of the time trials is also good. Any predictions on those? (I mean of the actual events, not the TV coverage...)
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby DrJay » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:51 am

jazzcyclist wrote:It's ironic that because cycling isn't considered one of the big three Olympic sports, NBC chose to show it live rather than tape delay it.


Hey, if T&F continues its drop in popularity then maybe it will get live coverage daytime instead of tape-delay primetime. Gotta look for the silver linings....

I missed the road races, I was out riding on my own bike. Hopefully can get the NBC website unblocked in the office by the time trials.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:14 am

The women's time trial is live on NBC sports right now, to followed by the men's time trial. The big guns go last, with Tony Martin leaving the start house at 9:06 C.S.T., to be followed by Bradley Wigging at 9:07:30 and Fabian "Spartacus" Cancellara at 9:09.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby DrJay » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:44 am

Jazz, feel free to post updates here. I'm at work and the hospital IT guys haven't made unblocking NBC on their T1 line to our office a priority, so I can't stream it.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:12 am

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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:52 am

Wiggins fastest at all the time check followed by Martin. Spartacis was only fifth at the 29.9 km time check. There was doubt that he would ride today because of his crash on Saturday. The man who won the U.K.'s first Tour de France 10 days ago is poised to win its first gold medal of this Olympic games.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:06 am

Wiggins wins his fourth Olympic gold medal (seventh Olympic medal) riding through a sea of Union Jacks as he approached the finish line.

    1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 50:39:54

    2 Tony Martin (Germany) 51:21:54

    3 Chris Froome (Great Britain) 51:47:87
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby DrJay » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:30 am

Thanks, jazz
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby DrJay » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:08 am

American Taylor Phinney in 4th, forty seconds behind Froome.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby odelltrclan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:21 am

Heartbreak again for Phinney. 4th in both the time trial AND road race! That will be a tough pill to swallow.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:25 pm

odelltrclan wrote:Heartbreak again for Phinney. 4th in both the time trial AND road race! That will be a tough pill to swallow.


I would be if he were just 17 -- well he is a bit older than that but I think he well knows how cyclist develop. I still remember spending all day on that big climb in the '84 road races, dashing half a block to a friend's house to see the video and then back to the course on climb each lap. [His parents were pretty big winners that day (Connie winning, dad as a teammate in some slightly complicated dynamics that finally resulted in Grewal winning but they had a problem on the last hill that almost cost them, then he was on the Bronze team TT. Oh yes, Connie was from Madison...

We got to ride that course several days before the event when they closed the road loop to car traffic and the bikes had the run of the course.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:59 am

For people who have a passing interest in cycling, I highly recommend checking out the team sprint which takes place at the velocrome today. This is the cycling equivalent of the 4x100 relay except it's a 3x250 race. It's three rounds with the heats starting at 10:00 C.S.T. and the finals at noon. Some of the guys have legs bigger than your body.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby bman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:39 pm

How would one follow track cycling? Seems pretty sweet.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:10 am

bman wrote:How would one follow track cycling? Seems pretty sweet.

Universal Sports shows some of the events, including the world championships. Here's Chris Hoy becoming the first Brit to win six Gold medals:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/c ... -gold.html

The U.K. won gold medals in seven of the ten events in track cycling at this year's Olympics. When you consider what they did at the Tour de France and what they did in the Olympic time trial, I think it's fair to say the Brits currently own the sport of cycling from top to bottom.

Being a fan of both track & field and cycling, one thing I've always found interesting is how closely the world record progression in cycling's 200m has followed track's 100m world record progression over the last 20 years. It seems that they've alway been within 0.01s of each other and not surprisingly, the current record is 9.572. However, one thing that's counterintuitive for non-cycling fans is that in track cycling, sprinters ride the fastest in the opening qualifying round, and as they go through the rounds they ride slower and slower. World records are always set in opening round qualifying. It's also one of the most selective Olympic events in any sport with only 17 riders allowed into the competition this year (one per nation).

The team sprint is the cycling equivalent of the 4x100 relay, but instead of 4x100 meters, it's 3x250 meters. Here's the video from this year's men's final in which, coincidentally a world record was set.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/c ... -time.html
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby bman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:10 pm

If I actually wanted to try it could it be done?
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:12 pm

bman wrote:If I actually wanted to try it could it be done?

Could what be done?
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby bman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:24 pm

Compete in the sprint.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:27 pm

bman wrote:Compete in the sprint.

Why not? Do you live near a velodrome? The one here in Baton Rouge has loaner bikes for beginners. I would assume the others have similar arrangements.

EDIT: Here the list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ve ... of_America
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby bman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:02 pm

Does anyone ever actually catch the other team/rider in the pursuit? What is the strategy like there?
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:23 am

bman wrote:Does anyone ever actually catch the other team/rider in the pursuit? What is the strategy like there?

Yes, it happens in the earlier rounds. If you catch the other rider/team, the race is over with.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:55 pm

I wouldn't touch the sprints, they do not have nearly steep enough ramps for anywhere near long enough (say, at least 500 meters). :D Of course, my racing weight was 62 kg and I am ~179cm.
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Re: Olympic Cycling

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:41 am

26mi235 wrote:I wouldn't touch the sprints, they do not have nearly steep enough ramps for anywhere near long enough (say, at least 500 meters). :D Of course, my racing weight was 62 kg and I am ~179cm.

5'10.5" and 137 pounds? That's light for a road sprinter, not to mention track sprinters. Have you ever ridden in a velodrome?
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