Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Maria Isabel Moreno named Beijing Olympics first drug cheat.
August 12, 2008
CYCLING's future as an Olympic sport is in jeopardy after Spanish road rider Maria Isabel Moreno became the first athlete at the Beijing Games to test positive for drugs.
Moreno, 27, fled the Athletes' Village before the result of her drug test was known.
Moreno tested positive for performance-enhancing Erythropoietin (EPO). The drugs test was carried out on July 31 and she left Beijing later that day without offering an explanation.
Hot, humid conditions take toll on Olympic cyclists
Heavy smog continued to shroud the Olympic host city as competition got underway Saturday, and there was concern road cyclists would struggle mightily in the oppressive conditions as they raced 152.2 miles through a picturesque course that began near Tiananmen Square, wound past several famous landmarks, climbed into the foothills, and finished at the Great Wall.
They were the first athletes to face an outdoor endurance test at these Games, and the assumption was that if the average fan had trouble breathing and staying hydrated in the Chinese capital, surely cyclists exerting themselves over the longest course in Olympic history would be miserable afterward.
The race ended with seven loops through the hilly Juyongguan Pass, a picture-perfect region that houses the tombs of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors. Riders complained of "extreme" heat and humidity. American George Hincapie said, "I can count on one hand the number of races I've started to sweat before the race starts." German rider Gerald Michael Ciolek, who failed to finish, compared it to riding at high elevation "because you feel short of air."
Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina, who also pulled out early, said: "It feels like you have hot cream all over your body. Once you go full-gas, you cannot breathe."
Only 90 of 143 cyclists who started the race finished the 6-hour event.
This is a wierd fact about Olympic road cycling in general. It never seems right.
Originally Posted by Sci-Fi
I didn't get to see it live so I grabbed the on demand HD 45 minute cut down version from Dish. That had to be the most scenic road race course ever. The helicopter shots were just amazing - inside Beijing and out. Just stunning.
The Improbable Bulk
As the commentators pointed out... It isn't like a stage race where a domestique has to finish a stage to be available to help the team leader out the next day. Once they are done with leading out their leaders there is really not a huge motivation to finish the race for World Championships or Olympic events.
Originally Posted by kc0bbq
I am sure there is a certain pride issue involved, but I am sure that doing your utmost to lead your team leader and expending every ounce of energy without the need to even complete the race is weighed into the strategy at some level. It may enable a rider to dig deep and lead for an extra couple of kilometers if he knows he doesn't have to finish.
This may also be accentuated by having smaller teams.
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
On top of that, a lot of the DNF's have time trial aspirations. No point in burning a match getting over the hill one or two more times when you could use it in a couple days.
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
Women's Road Cycling:
Cooke rides golden road
British cyclist survives wet and wild course; Hobson top Canadian in 17th
August 11, 2008
BEIJING -- Nicole Cooke of Britain avoided the crashes that plagued the women's road cycling course yesterday and survived an onslaught of rain to sprint to the finish at the Great Wall of China and capture Olympic gold.
Cooke, 25, tackled Beijing's 126.4-kilometre water-logged course in 3 hours 32 minutes 24 seconds with a thrilling finishing kick past Emma Johansson of Sweden, who took the silver medal, and bronze medalist Tatiana Guderzo of Italy.
"It's just like a dream come true," the beaming rider, a two-time World Cup champion who was narrowly denied a medal in Athens in 2004, said. "I still don't think it's all sunk in yet."
By the finish line, four riders from the original field of 66 didn't finish as numerous crashes on slick pavement sent athletes careening into each other and slamming against walls into cement ditches.
Among them was Alexandra Wrubleski, 24, Canada's best medal hope in the race. She collided with another rider during a sharp left turn about 100 kilometres into the race. She had been with the lead pack throughout, but her crash with a Russian rider left her bike a wreck and by the time she hopped on a replacement, it was too late, the race was gone. She finished 50th.
"I hit my head really hard and I'm a little bit dizzy," she said after the race. "I'm disappointed. You train all year for this and then you go and crash."
But the rider from Regina, a national champion who just missed the podium by finishing fourth at the prestigious Fleche Wallonne World Cup event in April, said she should be healthy for Wednesday's time trial road race.
The best Canadian showing came from Leigh Hobson, who finished 17th, 28 seconds off the pace. The high-school teacher from Cambridge, Ont., made this the final race of her career, which also coincided with her 38th birthday.
"It's an amazing birthday to be able to race the Olympic race," she said as she stood blue-lipped and shivering in the rain. "I've been cycling for over 10 years and this never happens. It's probably one of the top birthday presents I could ever get."
Erinne Willock of Victoria, who was a late addition to the team after an appeal was launched, and later dropped, finished 37th.
"We were all preparing for heat and 35 [degree] weather," she said, adding she was freezing on the descents and the paint on the road proved particularly slippery.
Silver medalist Johannson, who was not considered a medal threat, said she, too, was surprised by the weather, expecting hot, humid conditions that crippled the men's road race a day earlier.
"Sometimes I felt like I was drowning," she said. "Coming down the climb the first time, I was just freezing and I couldn't stop shaking."
The pack set off under a hazy sky on a 78.8-kilometre trek from Yongdingmen Gate south of downtown Beijing and toured past sacred sites, including Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square. By the time they were climbing to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, where they completed two mountainous loops to Juyongguan Pass of 23.8 kilometres, the rain was relentless.
It wasn't until the final looping section involving a tough 350-metre climb that a few riders broke away, including Guderzo, leaving the peloton in their spray.
Cooke was considered a serious medal contender with skills perfectly suited to the course: a strong climber with solid attacks and finishing sprint.
But other top competitors faded.
Sara Carrigan of Australia, who was attempting to defend her gold medal from Athens, came 38th. Judith Arndt of Germany, who took Olympic silver in 2004, finished 41st. Oenone Wood of Australia, a two-time World Cup champion, ended up 29th, and the best that Marianne Vos, the International Cycling Union's top-ranked rider in the road race, could do was sixth.
A day earlier, the men raced on the same, but extended course, covering 245.5-kilometres, the longest in Olympic history. They were tested under extreme heat that approached 50 with the humidity.
Samuel Sanchez of Spain made a final sprint to the gold medal in 6 hours 23 minutes 49 seconds, claiming his country's first Olympic medal in the discipline.
Davide Rebellin of Italy took the silver medal on his 37th birthday, and Fabian Cancellara, the lone rider for Switzerland, managed to capture the bronze.
Of the 143-man field, only 90 riders finished the punishing course.
Canadians were not expected to win medals, but Michael Barry, an Olympic veteran, finished an impressive ninth, just 16 seconds behind the winner.
Ryder Hesjedal, who placed 47th in this year's Tour de France and rode with the front pack for much of the race, finished 56th, and Svein Tuft came in 59th.
Armstrong -- Kristin, not Lance -- wins gold in women's time trial
Aug. 13, 2008
BEIJING -- Kristin Armstrong won the gold medal Wednesday in the women's time trial, making her only the second American women's cyclist to become an Olympic champion.
Armstrong finished the 23.5-kilometer (14.6-mile) course in 34 minutes, 51.72 seconds -- 24.29 seconds better than Emma Pooley of Britain. Karin Thuerig of Switzerland was third, almost a minute behind Armstrong.
Pooley was the fifth of 25 riders down the ramp, setting a time that let the other contenders know what they needed.
Armstrong was the only woman close to Pooley at the halfway mark, and erased the gap before reaching the finish at the Great Wall. She joins Connie Carpenter-Phinney as the only American women to win Olympic cycling gold. Carpenter won the road race at Los Angeles 24 years ago.
Hi racing fans,
I've strayed from the C&V and Mechanics forums to ask
questions silly to all of you, I'm sure, but the answers will
be enlightening to me.
While watching the Olympic racers, I spotted more than a
few reaching for downtube shifters, or at least that's how
it appeared to me. I couldn't quite make out what they were
reaching down for because the camera seemed always focused
on bars on up, but those riders' hands didn't come up with
a water bottle.
Do any modern racing machines still use DT shifters? Or is
it possible many or even all still do and, if so, why?
I've never used anything else, but it seems to me that some
form of what appears on the bars of my daughters' 2004
"hybreds" would be convenient to racers.
Would you enlighten me?
If you're watching the time trial, I think some riders use a single downtube shifter for their chainwheels, as those don't have to be shifted as often and it saves weight (or possibly drag--I'm sure someone who's more certain will chime in shortly ).
A number of riders use a downtube shifter on high mountain stages of the Grand Tours.
Originally Posted by A.Winthrop
Lance Armstrong, Richard Virenque, Laurent Jalabert and Alex Zulle have all used downtube shifters and an aero brake lever in place of the left hand shifter.
This is also the case in Time Trials, where the rider will spend their time in one chainring for an extended period.
The simplicity of the downtube shifter's and brake lever's components, along with the reduced cable length makes the bike lighter for the mountains.
The placement of the downtube shifter behind the headtube on time trial frames also eliminates a cable's worth of surface area from the front of the bike, which reduces drag a little bit.
Using the downtube shifter/brake lever combination for climbing bike has fallen out of style with the advent of 900 gram carbon fibre frames and 1100 gram carbon wheels, as most team bikes built up with stock components would actually weigh a few hundred grams less than the UCI minimum weight limit of 6.8KG. Many teams are forced to add lead and tungsten weights to the bike in order to make it legal to ride in UCI sanctioned events and in events that use the UCI rules.
Last edited by BananaTugger; 08-13-08 at 04:59 PM.
Cancellara wins men's road time trial, Leipheimer third
Aug. 13, 2008
JUYONGGUAN, China -- Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won gold in the Olympic men's road cycling time trial Wednesday, adding to the bronze he took in the road race.
Cancellara, the two-time time-trial world champion, completed the 29.4-mile course in the shadow of the Great Wall in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 11.43 seconds. He finished about 33 seconds ahead of Gustav Larsson of Sweden, who rode the race of his life. Levi Leipheimer of the United States was third.
"It was a perfect day. I did everything for this day," Cancellara said. "To be the favorite and to be still the first afterwards, that's a hard thing because you have a lot of pressure. It was a really, really tough race, and now it's a moment to enjoy and to be happy and proud that I am winning."
By the halfway point, Cancellara had already overtaken Stefan Schumacher of Germany, who had started 1½ minutes ahead of him. Schumacher was arguably his biggest rival after beating him in both Tour de France time trials this year.
However, the unheralded Larsson rode an amazing race and at one point looked set for victory.
"I hoped for a race like this. I knew the course suited me well. I rode the race of a lifetime, but he (Cancellara) is strong," Larsson said.
The two are teammates in the professional cycling team CSC, and Cancellara said he already knew the Swede was coveting the gold -- at a team dinner in the United States before the start of the season, Larsson announced it as his goal for the year.
Leipheimer said he had realized close to the end that the bronze would come down to a few seconds, and he was determined not to lose the medal.
"I was really fighting hard for that medal. I gave it everything I had in the last bit and pushed myself very hard, and it paid off and I'm very happy," he said.
Leipheimer finished eight seconds ahead of Giro champion Alberto Contador, who will leave Beijing without a medal.
As will Cadel Evans of Australia, another pre-games favorite.
"No medal, all that hard work," lamented Evans, who came in fifth.
Leipheimer and Contador both missed this year's Tour de France because their Astana team was barred because of previous doping allegations. Leipheimer said that motivated him in his Olympic training.
"I watched the Tour and it was very difficult to watch because I so badly wanted to be there," Leipheimer said.
"To sit at home in July and watch the Tour go on without me, it definitely gave me motivation to train as hard as I could. I came here knowing that I did my best with the situation I had and it gave me the peace of mind to push myself really hard."
Thirty-nine riders from 29 countries took part in Wednesday's competition. It was the last road race of the Olympics. The competition on the track starts Friday.
Thanks MUCH for taking the time to answer my questions in
such detail. It is all very interesting to me as I live in
the delightful but unenlightened past of the '60s, '70s and
'80s when it comes to racing bikes (oh, and touring bikes
too). It's very tempting to add a more up-to-date racing
bike to my stable and the detail you have provided will make
doing so harder to resist. :-(
I think there is at least one rider who has both road and track involvement.
Originally Posted by justinb
Originally Posted by Keith99
I know Niki Terpstra is riding team pursuit for the Netherlands (and packed it in early). Anyone else you're thinking of?
Is this regulated at all, or are the riders free to have the weight placed wherever they want to have a weight distribution ideal for the ride/their physique?
Originally Posted by BananaTugger
I haven't ever dug into the rules that far, but it seems like they regulate anything else that can give a rider a percieved edge.
There are no rules regarding the placement of weights. It doesn't even say that you have to add weights to underweight bikes, only that the complete bike with pedals, bottle cages and computer must weigh 6.8KG.
Originally Posted by kc0bbq
Teams will put the weights as close to the bottom bracket as possible. So you'll see them taped or zip-tied to the downtube and bolted under bottle cages. This lowers the centre of gravity of the bike, making it a little more maneuverable and stable.
You see a lot more people racing with Power Taps more often because they have a lot more to make up than they do lose now.