The Olympics is undoubtedly a remarkable international sports event. This extravagant affair began with religious significance in Greece. But later developed into a congregation of countries to celebrate sports and bring down regional barriers. Cycling, since the inception of the modern Olympics in 1896 has been one of the most significant sports. It has featured in every Olympics along with swimming, gymnastics, athletics, and fencing.
The cycling events for Tokyo this year begin on July 24th and go on till 8th August spread across a period of 16 days.
Cycling Events at Olympics
Like every event, this year as well, there are 22 events lined up in cycling spread across 5 disciplines, some new additions to the current ones. Apart from road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking, and BMX individual, BMX freestyle will make its debut this year in Tokyo. Each of these disciplines is further divided into separate events for men and women.
Track cycling is further divided into six primary categories – Keirin, Madison, Omnium, Team Pursuit, Individual Sprint, and Team Sprint. The second event – Road Cycling has two major types- Individual Road Race and Individual Time Trial. Mountain Biking has only one event called Cross Country being contested in the Olympics. It involves off-roading with mixed and rough terrains. BMX is another set of events divided into Individual BMX and BMX Freestyle with the latter making a debut this season.
Cycling is one of the few sports with a variety of events. The diversity caters to cyclists with different strengths like endurance and speed.
There are renowned names of course in the entire set of disciplines. Like, Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium may lead this time as well on the road cycling front based on previous performances. Another one is Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands who can outperform as well.
In the mountain biking discipline, Nino Schurter from Switzerland is being looked out for in the men’s category. Whereas Loana Lecomte, on the women’s side is a favorite of many.
In track cycling, British cyclists like Laura Penny and her husband Jason Kenny are touted to maintain their dominance.
Countries to Look out for:
For years Europeans have been leading the pack with France on the top of the medal tally board. Great Britain, Italy, and America follow the list trying to outmatch the leaders.
However, there are more than 150 countries competing, making the sport one of the most popular in the Olympics.
Although cycling is getting its due attention in several countries now due to fitness demands, it surely is an all-rounder sport. Sports in all is one excellent medium to bring together countries in solidarity and extend external relations. The competitive spirit keeps the energy and momentum alive among the sportspersons apart from giving an economic boost to the nations.