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History

Despite the fact that the wheel has been around for thousands of years, the bicycle remains a relatively modern invention - but one that has evolved rapidly over the last two hundred years. The first bicycle was created in 1790 by a Frenchman, Comte de Sivrac. It was made of wood, and had solid wheels with no steering system or pedals.

Steering came courtesy of German Baron von Drais in 1817, while Frenchman Pierre Michaux designed pedals in 1861 (Kirkpatrick McMillan 1831) that were later refined by Englishman JK Starley. The pneumatic inner-tube that helped create air-filled tyres was pioneered in 1887 by Irishman John Boyd Dunlop, and was refined by French brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin.

Over time, cycling has evolved from a mean's of transport into a pastime and sport in its own right, with mountain biking taking the discipline off-road and classic endurance events such as the Tour de France helping to further spread the popularity of the sport and inspiring people to take up cycling for personal fitness and as a hobby.

Cycling made its Olympic debut in the inaugural modern Summer Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896. That year, road race competitors did two laps of the marathon route from Athens to Marathon and back - a total distance of 87 kilometres. Although road racing was absent from the schedule in 1900, 1904 and 1908, it has been part of the rosta of sports ever since.

A team road race event was added to the programme in 1912, but it was dropped in 1956 in favour of a 100km team time trial that stayed on the schedule until 1992, when it was replaced by an individual time trial. A women's road race was added in 1984, with individual road time trials for women joining the schedule in 1996.

Technical

The Olympic programme includes two Road Cycling events for both men and women. For the Road Race all competitors start together; the first rider to cross the finish line wins gold. For the shorter Time Trial, the riders start at 90-second intervals and the winner is the rider with the fastest time over the course.

Great stamina, astute strategy and powerful acceleration are essential to success in both events, with teamwork also playing a big part in the Road Races.

Competition format

 

The men's and women's Road Race is a straight final. In each event all athletes start together, and the first to cross the finish line is the winner. In the Time Trials, athletes start at 90-second intervals and the one to complete the course in the fastest time is the winner.

The courses used for road races and time trials are based around conventional asphalt roads that have been closed to the public for the duration of the competition.

The Time Trial course

Both events are held over a single lap, with slight variations in the men’s and women’s courses reflecting the different distances.

equipment

Race bike

Race bikes are constructed of sophisticated lightweight alloys and carbon fibre to reduce weight as much as possible to help increase the athlete's speed and stamina. Unlike track bikes, they have gears and brakes to help control speed.

Clothing

Clothing for road cyclists is lightweight and close-fitting to help stamina and the flow of air around the rider. They have to be able to resist the elements, as races take place outdoors, while allowing the riders to sweat.

Helmets

Helmets have been mandatory in road cycling since 2003. They are of lightweight construction, with gaps to help air to get into the helmet to keep the rider cool.

rules

Road Race

This is a long-distance race in which tactics are just as important as stamina. Cyclists start en masse as a group, with the aim of being the first rider across the finish line some 230km away. Because of the length of the race, competitors are allowed to consume food and drink and receive technical assistance in the event of mechanical problems from their team.

Individual time trial

In the shorter time trials, competitors start at 90-second intervals with the aim of completing the course in the fastest time possible.

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Our Results

Total: 16 medals
  • 2 Gold
  • 9 Silver
  • 5 Bronze
Athens 1896
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Stockholm 1912
  • 0 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Antwerp 1920
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Paris 1924
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Amsterdam 1928
  • 0 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Los Angeles 1932
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Berlin 1936
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
London 1948
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Helsinki 1952
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Melbourne 1956
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Rome 1960
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Tokyo 1964
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Mexico City 1968
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Munich 1972
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Montreal 1976
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Moscow 1980
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Los Angeles 1984
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Seoul 1988
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Barcelona 1992
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Atlanta 1996
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Sydney 2000
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Athens 2004
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Beijing 2008
  • 1 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
London 2012
  • 1 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
EYOF 2013
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
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