Cycling at the Olympics
Some cycling events such as the 1,000m sprint and the 4,000m team pursuit have had a long history at the Olympics, while others have been dropped from the program such as the Tandem event or recently added such as the Omnium.
There are currently four disciplines in Olympic cycling: track, road, mountain-bike and BMX. BMX was the latest to be added to the Olympic program, in 2008.
In London 2012 there were some significant changes to the cycling program. Removed from the program was the men's and women's individual pursuit and points race, and the men's Madison. Added to the women's program was the team sprint, team pursuit and the keirin, while Omnium was a new race for both men and women. The net result is that all event types now have competitions for both men and women.
The new event the Omnium comprises six events:
- Flying lap (against the clock)
- Points race
- Individual pursuit
- Scratch race
- Time trial
See also the list of discontinued Olympic cycling events.
Here are the 18 cycling event that are currently part of the Olympic program. The year that each event was first on the program is listed.
- Track events
- 1000m Sprint Men — 1906 to current
- 1000m Sprint Women — 1988 to current
- Team Pursuit Men — 1908, 1920 to current
- Team Pursuit Women — 2012 to current
- Keirin Men — 2000 to current
- Keirin Women — 2012 to current
- Omnium Men — 2012 to current
- Omnium Women — 2012 to current
- Team sprint Men — 2000 to current
- Team sprint Women — 2012 to current
- Road events
- Individual Road Race Men — 1896 to current
- Individual Road Race Women — 1984 to current
- Individual Road Time Trial Men — 1996 to current
- Individual Road Time Trial Women — 1996 to current
- Mountain Bike event. There is a men's and women's cross country event. In each of these, the competitors start at the same time and complete laps of a closed off-road course for about 2 hours. The first athlete to cross the finish line after a set number of laps wins.
- Cross-country Men — 1996 to current
- Cross-country Women — 1996 to current
- BMX Individual Men — 2008 to current
- BMX Individual Women — 2008 to current
- Cycling has been part of the Olympic Games since the beginning of the modern era.
- Track racing has been held at all Olympic Games except for 1912 in Stockholm, when only a road race event was held. This road race was the longest race of any kind ever in Olympic history, held over a distance of 320km (199 miles), the winner finishing in 10 hours 42 minutes.
- In Rome 1960, after taking amphetamines, Danish cyclist Knuth Jensen collapsed during a race, fatally fracturing his skull. The official cause of death was heat stroke.
- Tandem Cycling is a discontinued track cycling event at the Olympics, though tandem cycling is an event at the Paralympics.
- East German athlete Christa Rothenburger won a silver medal in track cycling in Seoul in 1988. Seven months earlier she had won the women's 1000 meter speed skating event at the Winter Olympics in Calgary. She became the first and only athlete to win medals in both a Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year.
- In 1984, women were admitted to Olympic cycling with the inclusion of a single road race.
- In 2008 in Beijing, representing Australia in BMX cycling was a rider called Kamakazi, who had changed his name from Jamie Hildebrandt by deed poll.
- The best all-time performing cyclist at the Olympic Games is British cyclist Chris Hoy, who added to his tally at the 2012 London Games to make it six gold medals in total. See more on the Greatest Cyclists at the Olympics.
- US cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of the bronze medal he won in Sydney 2000 in the cycling road time trial taken, after being found guilty of systematic drug cheating from 1999-2005.