Category: Cycling

Cycling Track

CYCLING ON WOODEN INDOOR TRACKS REGULARLY DREW LARGE CROWDS AS EARLY AS 1870 AND WAS INCLUDED IN THE INAUGURAL OLYMPICS GAMES.

WOODEN INDOOR TRACKS

As early as 1870, track races in England were regularly attracting large crowds. The riders competed on wooden indoor tracks that closely resembled the modern velodromes of today. Such tracks ensured the event could be competed all year round. But for promoters there was an even greater benefit – spectators could be charged an entrance fee!

OLYMPIC HISTORY

Track cycling events have been organised at all the editions of the Games since 1896, with the exception of the 1912 Games in Stockholm, when only the road race was staged. Between 1924 and 1992, the range of events was generally as follows: sprint, time trial over one kilometre, tandem and team pursuit. The individual pursuit was added to the programme of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the tandem was dropped after the 1972 Games in Munich.

Women have competed in the track events since the Seoul Games in 1988, the year that marked the appearance of women in the sprint event, followed by the individual pursuit in 1992. At the Sydney Games in 2000, several track events were introduced: 500m time trial for women, but also keirin, American and sprint for men.

Cycling

CYCLING HAS PROVED INCREDIBLY POPULAR EVER SINCE BICYCLES WERE INVENTED IN THE MID-18TH CENTURY. IT HAS FEATURED IN EVERY OLYMPIC GAMES.

EARLY POPULARITY

Bicycles were first developed in the mid-18th century and have been a popular form of transport ever since.

BIG LEAP FORWARD

In 1885, cycling took a big leap forward when J.K. Starley devised the chain-and-gearing system. Since then, engineers have embraced modern technology to build ever faster, sleeker and lighter bikes.

POPULAR IN EUROPE

From 1880 to 1900, cycling became immensely popular both in Europe and the United States. The professional sport maintained its place in the public imagination, especially in Europe. Over the last 20 years, road cycling has experienced an movement towards globalization.

OLYMPIC HISTORY

Like fencing and athletics, cycling is among the rare sports that have always featured on the Olympic programme. Road cycling, however, was not on the programme of the Paris 1900, St Louis 1904 or London 1908 Games.

The first road event in Olympic history took place in 1896 on the marathon route at the first Games of the modern era in Athens. The race started in Athens, headed towards Marathon, then returned to Athens, at the Phaliron velodrome.

Since the 1912 Games in Stockholm, the individual pursuit has been organised at each edition of the Games. The team time trial was on the programme between 1912 and 1992. 1996 marked the debut of the individual time trial at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Olympic cycling was added to the women’s programme in Los Angeles in 1984, with an individual road event. Later, in 1996, the individual time trial was included in women’s Olympic cycling, as it for the men’s.

The Europeans have always dominated Olympic cycling, particularly through the contribution of the French and Italians. Eastern European countries have also won many Olympic medals, especially in track cycling.