Cycling success in Rio!

Even though LCC concentrates on making our streets safer, so that more people can experience the joy of cycling from A to B, or around town at the weekend, rather than as a competitive sport; we still can’t avoid the fact that we love cycling in all its forms and watching Team GB do so well out in Rio has given us all a case of Olympic fever!

Here’s our quick round up of the main cycling action from Rio:

We started off with the mens’ Road Race back on Day 1 with Greg Van Avermaet from Belgium taking the gold in an exciting final stretch that saw Rafal Majka, who had held the lead for a significant chunk, drop down to the Bronze medal position. Our own Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome finished  strong in 11th and 12th position with Adam Yates not far behind in 15th.

The day after saw the women’s Road Race, and that horrific crash from lead rider Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten after losing control on a steep descent. Were you as disgusted as we were by the Twitter user who tried to ‘mansplain’ to Annemiek how to ride a bike shortly after her crash? The race was won by fellow Dutch ride, Anna van der Breggen with GB’s Lizzie Armitstead in 5th, twenty seconds behind the winner.

Next came the Time Trial event on Day 4 with high hopes for Emma Pooley and Geraint Thomas - as a last minute rider - and Chris Froome from Team GB. Pooley sadly didn’t make it to the podium, but finished in 14th place. American Kristin Armstrong , as one of the oldest competitors, showed the rest how it was done by winning and taking her third Olympic TT gold medal – amazing! To our great pleasure, Froome started off the cycling medal haul for Team GB, following his epic third Tour de France win, with a bronze medal in the men’s Time Trial.

Next came the start of the track cycling with strong hopes for Team GB following their amazing haul in London.

Need a reminder of the track cycling events and what they are?

Team GB got off to an explosive start with a world record in the qualifying round of the mens team sprint on Day 7 which was converted to gold the next day with Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner riding sensationally. Shortly after that gold, the women’s team pursuit squad also got a world record in the qualifying rounds. Bradley Wiggins and the pursuit team then set a world record to beat Australia, and claim a gold medal. That also meant a record 8 Olympics medals for Wiggins.

On Day 8, the women’s sprint team absolutely smashed the world record to defeat the USA and doing so, Laura Trott became the first British woman to win three Olympic gold medals, with a fourth to follow! Becky James then grabbed a hugely deserved silver medal in the keirin despite getting back to training a mere year ago following sickness and injury.

Day 9 finished with all-British final in the men’s sprint, with Callum Skinner and Jason Kenny riding against each other to decide gold and silver. Kenny produced a brilliant ride and heads into the ranks of the greatest British Olympians with a fifth Olympic gold medal. With Skinner picking up a second medal of the games with the silver.

Day 10 was another silver for Team GB from Mark Cavendish who ended his elusive wait for an Olympic medal with success in the men’s Omnium. The final race wasn’t without controversy however, after  a crash early in the race.

Day 11 was the most exciting yet with an epic night for Team GB! Laura Trott was leading in the standings to retain her Olympic title in the women’s omnium, and win her fourth Olympic gold. She did not dissapoint. She won the flying lap and doubled her lead heading into the 100-lap points race. She rode phenomenally in that final event and picked up points in the 10 intermediate sprints to finish the omnium with the gold medal - moving into the history books as the most successful British female Olympic athlete ever! 

Menawhile Becky James and Katy Marchant were riding in the quarter finals of the women’s sprint. With Becky coming out with another silver medal, just losing out to Germany's Kristina Vogel. Katy Marchant won the bronze, at her first Olympic Games, having switched to cycling from the heptalthon a few years previously. 

The evening finished with a tense final of the men's kierin featuring Jason Kenny. His hopes for a sixth gold medal, joining his fiance Laura Trott in the history books to equal Sir Chris Hoy's 6 gold medals, got of to a tense start, with the first two races being stopped for infringements. The first of those had us worrying about Jason Kenny's medal chances for a short while. But we needn't have worried, it was third time lucky for the race which saw Kenny ride to victory with a few inches to spare! Absolutely amazing - what a night for Team GB on the track!

Cycling Medals 

Team GB are at the top of the cycling medals table with results in the following events:

  • Women’s Sprint: Silver (Becky James) Bronze (Katy Marchant)
  • Women’s Team Pursuit Gold & WR (Team GB)
  • Women’s Kierin: Silver (Becky James)
  • Women’s Omnium: Gold (Laura Trott)
  • Men’s Sprint: Gold (Jason Kenny) & Silver (Callum Skinner)
  • Men’s Team Sprint: Gold (Team GB)
  • Men’s Keirin:  Gold (Jason Kenny)
  • Men’s Team Pursuit: Gold (Team GB)
  • Men’s Omnium: Silver (Mark Cavendish)

Total: 6 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze

The BMX events start on Wednesday with the cross-country mountain biking kicking off this weekend. 

We’re already starting to feel sad about the post-Olympics come down!

Inspired to take up riding? Cycling is a great way to keep fit, stay healthy, as well as get from A to B. Read our Advice Section for tips on getting started and consider joining LCC as a member to give you free third party insurance, access to our London Cyclist magazine as well as a legal advice line.