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Rio 2016: Olympic Cycling Expectations

By Adam Marsal

There are cobbles, climbs and iconic scenery in store for 2016 Rio Olympic games. Some of the greatest stars already appeared in Rio to check out the promising roads for the 2016 Olympic Games. The combination of stunning scenery and stern challenge that is the road race and time trial courses is going to provide a fantastic spectacle for all cycling fans.

168 km long test race was held last summer and was won by Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz. The funny thing is that the route of the Olympic Games cycling test event had to be altered due to anti-government protests planned for the day of the race.

Froome was there

Last year’s Tour de France winner Chris Froome traveled to Rio de Janeiro in November and reconnoitered the circuit he will face on August 6, two weeks after the Tour de France ends in Paris. The Kenya-born Brit rode the track and time trial courses with local experts to understand what he will face in August 2016.


Chris Froome has outlined his 2016 goals in an interview with Sky Sports, explaining he is aimed at a third Tour de France title and gold medals in the road race and time trial at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Froome told Sky Sports News HQ: “It’s going to be an exciting year, that’s for sure. The main focus for me is going to be the Tour de France winner again, but just in the back of the Tour de France we have got the Olympic road race over in Rio and a few days following that, the Olympic time trial is potentially also in the cards. Both the road race and the time trial do suit me very well. The time trial has over 1,000m of climbing in it, so it’s going to be tough. I think it’s over 50km, so for an individual time trial that is a long event.”

Picturesque parts of the city

The road race will pass through some of the most picturesque parts of the city, including the start-finish line in Copacabana, as well as Ipanema, São Conrado, Barra da Tijuca, Grumari and Vista Chinesa. The total race length is 256.4km for men with around 4,000 meters of climbing and 130.3km for women.


The route will also take turn through the Grumari circuit with a steep climb and a 2-km cobbled section before returning to Copacabana with a challenging circuit that climbs and descends through the Tijuca Forest and the Vista Chinesa monument. The Men’s race will take place on Saturday August 6, with the women’s race following on Sunday August 7.

The 29.8km time trial route will also pass through the beaches and forests of the Grumari countryside in the Pontal region, west of the city. The time trial will start and finish at Praça Tim Maia at Pedra do Pontal and will include a 1.2km hill climb. The men will complete two laps of the time trial course of total 54.5km, while the women’s will complete one lap of the same course.

Those who have seen the course, say it is perfect for grand tour cyclists like two-time Tour winner Froome, Colombian Nairo Quintana, Italian Vincenzo Nibali, and Spaniard Alberto Contador who are all targeting the gold medal. Experts claimed last summer that it’s going to be a climber’s race.