Olympic Road Cycling Course
What is the course for the time trial road cycling at the Rio Olympic Games? And the road race? Are they the same course? The quick answer is no, one is significantly longer than the other, but they do share similarities.
The road race is an Olympic event where all road cyclists set off in one mass start, and the first one to cross the finish line wins the gold medal. Team tactics are often used and it is an endurance test rather than a sprint.
The time trial consists of all the competing road cyclists setting off individually, at 90 second intervals, and sprinting a shorter course against the clock. The rider who records the quickest time for the circuit once all have ridden wins the gold.
Let’s take a look at the courses they will be reading in each event; the road race and the time trial.
Olympic Road Cycling Course | the Road Race in Rio de Janeiro 2016
UCI rules and regulations state that the maximum distance allowed for any one-day road race is between 250-280km for men and 120-140km for women.
Each nation can have up to five riders, depending on how many they were awarded before the Olympics.
In Rio de Janiero, the course for men will be 256.4km long, and 130.3km for women. Both will start at the world famous Copacabana Beach in the Brazilian city.
Road Cycling at the Olympics | Road Race: The Course Details
The UCI have confirmed that the Olympic road race will see the road cyclists involved:
- Start and finish at the renowned Fort Copacabana
- Pass through Ipanema, Sao Conrado and Vista Chinesa
- Include laps of the Grumari Circuit (one lap for women and four laps for men); the circuit includes two climbs: Grumari, a narrow climb and descent in a forested area which averages 7% over 1.2km with a maximum gradient of 13% and the Grota Funda climb which averages 4.5% over 2.1km with a maximum gradient of 6%; the circuit also includes a cobble stone section of 2km
- Include laps of the Canoas/Vista Chinesa Circuit (one for women and three for men); the circuit starts with Canoas climb continuing with Vista Chinesa climb over 8.9km uphill followed by a technical descent of 6km. Vista Chinesa is a monument located in Tijuca National Park
- Include a flat section of about 20 kilometers.
Olympic Road Cycling Course | the Time Trial in Rio de Janeiro 2016
In Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic time trial will be based around a circuit course that the men will ride twice and the women once.
As such, the distance of the cycle will be 29.8km for the women and 59.6km for the men.
Olympic Road Cycling Course | Time Trial: The Course Details
The UCI have confirmed that the Olympic time trial will see the road cyclists involved take on the Grumari Circuit also tackled in the road race, and so it will consist of:
- two climbs:
- Grumari, a narrow climb and descent in a forested area which averages 7% over 1.2km with a maximum gradient of 13%
- the Grota Funda climb which averages 4.5% over 2.1km with a maximum gradient of 6%;
- the circuit also includes a cobblestone section of 2km
Olympic Road Cycling Race | What They Say...
UCI President Brian Cookson was full of praise for the courses, saying: “The UCI has been working closely with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and Mayor Paes on the road race and time trial courses for some time and I am delighted that the routes have now been agreed.
“The road race mixes some of Rio de Janeiro’s most iconic backdrops such as Copacabana and Ipanema with some really testing sections such as the Grumari Circuit and the climb up to Canoas/Vista Chinesa.
“The steep climb up Grumari Road, is sure to provide a unique test for time trial riders."
Olympic Road Cycling Race | Can Team GB Win?
With both the time trial and the road races favouring climbers on this occasion, favourites will include the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali and of course Team GB’s own Chris Froome in the men’s category.
In the women’s ranks, Team GB’s Lizzie Armitstead will stand a great chance, but she’ll have to overcome Netherlands rider Anna van der Breggen if she is to take the gold.