Top cycling stories to watch in Rio
Kristin Armstrong looks for three-peat
After winning back-to-back gold medals in the women’s individual time trial at the 2008 and 2012 Games, Armstrong is back for more. In 2015, She unretired in to pursue one last race for gold in Rio. The 2016 Games will mark Armstrong’s fourth, and likely final, Olympic appearance. She will turn 43 during the Games.
The velodrome in Rio was one of the last venues completed for the 2016 Games. After having to cancel a test event in March, the track was finally completed at the end of June. Organizers were forced to switch contractors after the original construction company filed for bankruptcy protection in May. While cycling’s governing body was wary of the setback at first, it has been positive about the venue since its completion.
USA BMX riders eye the podium
After missing out on the podium in the 2012 Games, the BMX riders for the U.S. are poised to make waves at the 2016 Olympics. Led by returning Olympians Alise Post, Nic Long, Brooke Crain and Connor Fields, and joined by Olympic debutant Corben Sharrah, the United States will send a group of five riders to Rio, all of whom have realistic medal chances this August. Fields and Brooke Crain are both returning from recent injuries that forced them to miss the 2016 UCI BMX World Championships in May, but should be healthy come race-time. Sharrah was an alternate for the London Olympics.
U.S. women track cyclists look to keep rolling in Rio
Sarah Hammer, Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente are looking for gold in Rio after claiming the world title in the women’s team pursuit this past March. It was the first ever gold for the U.S. men or women in a track cycling event at world championships or the Olympics. En route to the title, the quartet broke the United States record in the event.
Can Froome capture the Tour de France, Olympic double-dip?
After dominating the 2016 Tour de France, Chris Froome has his sights set on the Olympic gold in Rio. A great all-around rider, Froome is capable of climbing the Rio terrain, but will have to battle fatigue throughout the hilly Rio course. Froome is coming off of his third Tour win in the last four years, including going back-to-back in 2015 and 2016.
The last person to win the Tour de France and follow it up with Olympic gold? Froome’s Great Britain teammate Bradley Wiggins, who accomplished the feat in 2012. Froome won bronze for Great Britain in the time trial in London.