Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 5, 2016

In Friday’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Morton repeats Utah stage win a year later; Gonçalves impresses in Portugal sprint; Van Poppel doubles wins in Burgos; Why the Tour of California’s move to WorldTour could be bad for US cycling; ‘Dream signing’ Michael Matthews confirmed by Giant-Alpecin; Preview: What you need to know about the men’s road race at the Rio Olympics; Dennis crashes on Rio course recon; Roche: A fourth Tour win for Froome will be complicated; Contador testing climbing legs in Burgos attack; AG2R La Mondiale signs Naesen and Vandenbergh for two seasons; Kluge signs with ORICA-BikeExchange; Davis Phinney’s ’84 Olympics bike and the golden dream that almost was; Study: Bicycle laws, infrastructure marginalizes poor; Drink developed for military boosts cycling performance; Five Crazy Moments in Olympic Cycling History; Wiggins set for final Olympic chapter – part two; Queensland state velodrome construction time-lapse

Five Crazy Moments in Olympic Cycling History

by CyclingTips

As the Rio Games are upon us, it’s a good time to look back at the history of cycling in the Olympics. Some of the history is a bit odd — from a 315km individual time trial that began in the dark at 2:00 a.m. to Canadian mountain biker Geoff Kabush challenging Chinese basketball star Yao Ming to a drinking competition, cycling and the Olympics have had a few crazy moments.

By IOC Olympic Museum/Allsport

Here is an excerpt:

After Stockholm, planners decided to scrap the city’s velodrome to build an Olympic stadium, the world’s best racers began to fear cycling would be nixed from the 1912 Games altogether. And it very nearly was—without a velodrome, track cycling was obviously out, but Swedish Olympic Authorities wanted to cancel the road event as well, arguing that the roads weren’t in appropriate condition. Needless to say, this didn’t go over so well internationally and several countries began to protest.

Eventually the Swedish organizers gave in and decided to hold a 315km time trial race on a sketchy route they used for the Malaren Rundt annual road race around Lake Malaren. But the problem—other than the race being 195 miles long—was the start time: The staggered-start time-trial event began at 2 am. And it was more than 10 hours long. On roads already deemed dangerous. In the dark.

Luckily there were only two major crashes but both were pretty serious: a Swedish cyclist who was hit by a car and dragged some distance, and a Russian cyclist who fell into a ditch and was later discovered there, unconscious, by a farmer.

Click through to read more at Bicycling.