16 August 2016

Viviani beats Cavendish at Rio in the "Omnium" for Gold Medal - Get Ready for Shuzenji 2020 Games

I am not a regular fan of track cycle racing, but every once in awhile see a report that grabs my interest. I think back to autumn of 2011 when Jerome and I were guests at the Rabobank-sponsored opening of Japan's beautiful wooden track velodrome at Shuzenji.  There were lots of prominent riders, including pretty much any Japanese rider of note (Arashiro, Beppu), and some special guests including Mario Cipollini and Elia Viviani from Italy.  We got to hang out in the infield with Viviani, Michael Morkov, and some top Italian women pros.

So I was pleased to read today that Viviani has won the gold at the Rio Olympics in the "Omnium", a kind of cycling decathlon, or more accurately a sextathlon, since there are only 6 events rather than the decathlon's 10.  

Very impressive ride for Italia.  Some nice photos on the Reuters site, accompanying their report.

As for Cavendish, he seems to have a bit of difficulty following the rules.  In one of the events he cut inside and rode below the inner boundary of the track to pass a group, resulting in a penalty.  In another event, he swooped down and cut off a Korean rider causing a crash that eventually toppled other riders, including Viviani.  Maybe if he had more practice on the track ... maybe if he had visited Shuzenji back in 2011?



... I recently learned that the 2020 Olympic track cycling will be held not in Tokyo at a new facility, as originally planned, but in Izu at the velodrome where Jerome and I attended the above-referenced opening "Track Party" back in 2011. One of the cost-cutting measures to avoid new "white elephant" facilities?

Apparently some changes will be made to the Shuzenji velodrome expand the seating capacity (which is minimal).  So for any fans of track cycling, you can enjoy an onsen (and some Baird Beer) at Shuzenji and plenty of racing at the track.

It would really be a wonderful event if it in October (as the Track Party was).  Too bad it will be held in the August heat.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Though if it's anything like this August heat won't be a problem. Trench foot would be a greater worry :-(