It was a chance for cyclists to go through the original course where the games are taking place, all along those jaw dropping views spread around the Wonderful City, as is Rio tenderly called by all Brazilians. The race started in Copacabana, “the little princess of the sea”, as sung by internationally known Brazilian Bossa Nova King Tom Jobim (1927–1994).
From there it is possible to see some of the most beautiful and famous carioca’s sightseeing tours, such as the Sugar Loaf on one end and Copacana Fortresse on the other, not to mention the sea itself. In the Fortress, among old cannons installed to protect the bay in the earlier 20th century you can find a beautiful restaurant called Confeitaria Colombo. The place has a fame for its fat and delicious breakfast and a magnificent view of all Copacana beach. Unmissable!
OK! We are not here to talk only about tourism. But believe me, it is really as hard as it gets to ignore all those beautiful views just showing off for tourists. Definitely competitors will have to have a strong will to keep their focus and finish the 165 kilometres of the competition as fast as they can. Of course the aim for that most desired shining gold medal will be the main goal. But if I was a competitor, I would make sure I had some extra time just to enjoy the landscape.
Just think about that, after the big start bikers will pass by Ipanema, Leblon, Sao Conrado, Barra, Recreio, Alto da Boa Vista, Tijuca Forest, Horto, Jardim Botanico and Gavea. Those who have been to Rio know exactly what I’m talking about. It just cannot get better than that.
But do not be fooled by all this natural beauty. All along the cinematic scenario competitors will have to face a challenging circuit, full of climbs, cobblestones and technical descents, as described on the official Rio 2016 website.
If the French guys didn’t do good in their homeland during Tour de France, they completely rocked during the Challenge of Rio. Five of them ranked Top 10 in the contest, with Alexis Vuillermoz finishing first after 4 hours and 20 minutes. He was followed by Belgium athlete Serge Pauwels, but had other two countrymen just behind him: Romain Bardet in the third place and Tony Galloping scoring fourth.
This was the first and last chance for the athletes to try the circuit. We cannot wait to see how it is going to be when the gold medal will be at stake for real.
Threats of Rio
It is true that this Olympics warm up was beautiful and all run smoothly most of the time, but unfortunately some unpleasant situations happened. A photographer working on the coverage of the race had his cameras, lens and mobile phone stolen by armed men while he was waiting for the cyclers in one part of the circuit.
No one was injured after all, but security has always been a big issue in Rio de Janeiro. It is an issue that the major of the city and the Games’ organisers have to cope with and avoid when the big party starts over.