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Help an Olympic watching newbie

  • 27-07-2021 11:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭ TalleyRand83

    For some reason could never quite get to grips with the intricacies of pro cycling, Tour de France seems like a puzzle to me with different competitions going within the main race itself

    but for now, can anyone shed any light on the different Olympic disciplines, mainly:

    how different are indoor, road & mountain biking….are they similar to flat and jump horse racing or totally different and unrelated?

    why would anyone do indoor cycling? Does it suit certain body type? Not sure why it exists (not meant in a smart arse way)

    do cyclists actually compete in say mountain bike and indoor or is that like comparing a pole vaulter to a 400m hurdle runner?

    answers most welcome as these questions are an itch I need to scratch!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,348 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder

    i'm certainly no expert, but generally comparing track cycling to road racing is like comparing usain bolt to a marathon runner - i think the longest event in track cycling, by some margin, is 40km, and most of the events would be shorter than a few km; but the road race was over 200km long with 4000m of hills. there wouldn't be a lot of crossover between track cyclists and road cyclists.

    there'd be more crossover between the mountain biking and road racing. the mountain biking at the olympics is a cross country event, and pidcock's winning time was 1h25m - and he's someone who competes on road as well (as for example, was Matthieu Van Der Poel, who was also one of the favourites but pulled out after a crash). that style of mountain biking would be closer to road racing in the demands on the body than say downhill mountain biking (which is not an olympic sport).

    this might give you an idea of what the extreme end of track cycling can be like - where a race might only require full power for a lap or two, and you don't have to worry about hauling those massive muscles up hills:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭ nak

    I would think there is more crossover between road and track for the endurance events. Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Wiggins, Lizzie Deignan etc all started out on the track and have raced both during their careers.

    This year Elia Vivianni, Morkov, Ganna among others are competing in track events in Tokyo. Pidcock and MvDP would be exceptions racing MTB (there are more women racing multi discipline).

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,185 ✭✭✭✭ Enfilade

    Don't forget the little bikes, BMX is usually pretty exciting to watch. That's on tomorrow. No crossover there all that I can think of with the other disciplines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭ nak

    Few track sprinters who raced BMX too but not in the same games.