Olympic cycling suggestion

Currently, there are just two road events, a road race and an ITT. Why not replace them with a week long (5–7 days) stage race? The advantages, for cyclists, are obvious:

1) Multiple stages would mean at least one stage for sprinters, one for climbers, and one for breakaway specialists; medals would go to the top finishers in each stage
2) In addition to preserving the ITT, there could also be a TTT
3) There would be a GC winner and podium, as well as a team competition

The disadvantages, I guess, would be:
1) it might be harder for some cyclists to work this into their professional schedule (though they could focus on a single stage);
2) integrating the expanded schedule into the overall Olympic schedule;
3) many locations might not have the required varied terrain, particularly for a challenging mountain stage;
4) winning any single stage would not carry the prestige that winning the Olympic RR does now. But that is the current situation in many Olympic events, and anyway, the big prize would now be the GC.
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Merckx index said:
Currently, there are just two road events, a road race and an ITT. Why not replace them with a week long (5–7 days) stage race? The advantages, for cyclists, are obvious:

1) Multiple stages would mean at least one stage for sprinters, one for climbers, and one for breakaway specialists; medals would go to the top finishers in each stage
2) In addition to preserving the ITT, there could also be a TTT
3) There would be a GC winner and podium, as well as a team competition

The disadvantages, I guess, would be:
1) it might be harder for some cyclists to work this into their professional schedule (though they could focus on a single stage);
2) integrating the expanded schedule into the overall Olympic schedule;
3) many locations might not have the required varied terrain, particularly for a challenging mountain stage;
4) winning any single stage would not carry the prestige that winning the Olympic RR does now. But that is the current situation in many Olympic events, and anyway, the big prize would now be the GC.
True, and I would add, why not replace the WC by a week long event !!!

No honestly this isn't how things work, you have national championships, world championships, these have existed since the dawn of times and for a reason, championships are a one race thing. Olympic games are the same stuff.
 
I have thought about this too, but I don't think it would work very well. First of all there can't be so many races because then a single medal wouldn't be so special anymore. It would only make sense if you could make a rather flat stage, then a hilly stage and then an ITT, maybe you could add a TTT too although I think that's not a very good idea, since the olympics already have the team events in track cycling. The problem is that you can't always do that. If the Olympics are in a completely flat region you maybe have to make 2 sprint stages and then the winner of the ITT is automatically the winner of the gc too since there won't be any time gaps on the flat stages.

Maybe you could do the normal RR, and the ITT, then 2 or 3 short stages where you don't get medals but the time counts for the gc (like in sailing where you also don't get a medal after every run) and after the last stage there is the gc winner. Preferable I would make a pursuit race where everyone starttime is depending on the gc, because that would mean that the first one who crosses the line is still always the winner of the whole race. Would be very experimental but I'd like to see that.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Gigs_98 said:
I have thought about this too, but I don't think it would work very well. First of all there can't be so many races because then a single medal wouldn't be so special anymore. It would only make sense if you could make a rather flat stage, then a hilly stage and then an ITT, maybe you could add a TTT too although I think that's not a very good idea, since the olympics already have the team events in track cycling. The problem is that you can't always do that. If the Olympics are in a completely flat region you maybe have to make 2 sprint stages and then the winner of the ITT is automatically the winner of the gc too since there won't be any time gaps on the flat stages.

Maybe you could do the normal RR, and the ITT, then 2 or 3 short stages where you don't get medals but the time counts for the gc (like in sailing where you also don't get a medal after every run) and after the last stage there is the gc winner. Preferable I would make a pursuit race where everyone starttime is depending on the gc, because that would mean that the first one who crosses the line is still always the winner of the whole race. Would be very experimental but I'd like to see that.
This is a great idea.

One way Merckx Index's idea is somewhat impractical: it's not always possible to construct a breakaway stage, a climbers' stage, etc etc. We're lucky this year that the Olympics were held in a city with the potential for an excellent course, but many don't have the topography for such a varied stage race. Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
 
I thought about a similar idea before, but then I realise it's a bad idea. There shouldn't be thing like Olympic stage winners. You're either Olympic champion or not. You could make a flat, hilly, and mountanious road race, but then were the hell is the mountanious road race or even the hilly road race gonna come from in half the Olympic cities?

Olympic stage race makes no sense at all. 3 stages, of which one mountain stage, and one tt that basically decide the race? One of the biggest prizes in the sport shouldn't be a very, very minor version of a GT. It should be it's own thing, which is what is is now. You want different road categories, that could be possible, but not a GC.
 
Major difference to the sailing is it's an individual sport, and you don't have domestiques doing all the work and stuff like that. Olympic stage should have some value, but then it's not a medal so what the hell is it?
 
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Alexandre B. said:
There are enough strong one-week stage races in the calendar.
And there aren’t enough one day races in the calendar?

veji11 said:
No honestly this isn't how things work, you have national championships, world championships, these have existed since the dawn of times and for a reason, championships are a one race thing. Olympic games are the same stuff.
Many world championships do not come down to a single game or competition. In fact, most of the most prestigious competitions in the Olympics, like track and field and swimming, have no overall champion, but many champions in a variety of disciplines. The Olympics, which have constantly evolved, and now feature events no one had even heard of when they were revived about a century ago, are not of one stuff.

Jspear said:
The biggest thing for me would be the lack of prestige. It wouldn't seem right to get a medal for just a stage win. It would really lesson the value of a gold medal....imo.
Asked and answered. Look at gymnastics, where there are medals for individual events, but they’re not recognized as being as prestigious as medals for the overall. Or swimming and track and field, where there are medals for being a member of a relay.

Cannibal72 said:
One way Merckx Index's idea is somewhat impractical: it's not always possible to construct a breakaway stage, a climbers' stage, etc etc. We're lucky this year that the Olympics were held in a city with the potential for an excellent course, but many don't have the topography for such a varied stage race. Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
So all the events have to be held within city limits? Another poster was arguing that the Olympics have to be like world championships. Well, when World Cups are held, the venues are frequently spread across a huge geographical area. When it was held in the U.S. in 1994, there were games literally coast-to-coast.

Red Rick said:
Olympic stage race makes no sense at all. 3 stages, of which one mountain stage, and one tt that basically decide the race?
The race is always going to be decided according to how it’s designed. As it stands now, with a one day race, the course is critical in determining what kind of riders even have a chance of winning. A stage race could favor a climber, a TTer, a sprinter or roleur. Or it might have enough of all kinds of terrain to give each a fair shot at winning. Stage races usually favor climbers who can TT decently, but they don't have to.

One of the biggest prizes in the sport shouldn't be a very, very minor version of a GT.
You could argue that a one day race is an even more minor version of a GT. I fail to see how a one day race is a fairer way of determining a champion than a multi-stage race is. It may be more dramatic, just as a one game playoff may be more dramatic than a best of seven series, but just as a best of seven becomes more dramatic if it comes down to a seventh game, a stage race can become more dramatic if it comes down to the final stage. Tension builds over a longer period of time.
 
Whether or not this would be a good idea is a good argument of course, but the biggest obstacle to getting something like this done is the UCI's apparently terrible standing with the IOC who would be reluctant to say the least to award any more medals in cycling, especially pro road cycling considering the sport's image.
 
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Red Rick said:
Major difference to the sailing is it's an individual sport, and you don't have domestiques doing all the work and stuff like that. Olympic stage should have some value, but then it's not a medal so what the hell is it?
You are right that sailing is an individual sport, but I don't really understand what that has to do with the topic. Anyway with my idea I meant that an olympic stage win is worth absolutely nothing. Those extra stages should be 100% about the gc which would also make the race very special. For example even a small hill on a flat stage might be enough to let the race explode since only the riders who are on a medal position have a reason to control the race. And I think because this race would be so different it also wouldn't look like a minor version of a gt, but it would be a good option to give riders who aren't one day race specialists a chance to win an olympic medal, since it seems kind of unfair only classics riders can become olympic champions.

Nevertheless there are still many problems left with this idea and I also doubt it would work really well, but I'd just like to see such a race once to know how it would be.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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So all the events have to be held within city limits? Another poster was arguing that the Olympics have to be like world championships. Well, when World Cups are held, the venues are frequently spread across a huge geographical area. When it was held in the U.S. in 1994, there were games literally coast-to-coast.
I know how world cups traditionally work, but that's not how Olympics traditionally work. That's why it's host cities rather than host countries (which it is for football championships). The vast majority of Olympic events take place in the immediate locale of that city: that's the point of hosting an Olympics. It wouldn't be completely impossible for, say, Paris 2024 to have a stage in the Jura, but it would be practically very, very difficult and would dilute cycling as an Olympic sport by sheer distance from everything else: it would be a marginal irrelevance, miles from the press, from the fans, from the athletes' village. There's a reason Olympics aren't hosted like World Cups.
 
Jun 7, 2016
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The major problem is that the number of medals in each sport is very strictly regulated by IOC. This is very harsh and each time a sport wants to add a new discipline it has to drop one for it to keep to overall number of medals same. This is why some traditional track cycling disciplines (such as individual pursuit) are no longer part of olympics as they were replaced by fancier one.

So if road cycling has 4 medals that is the maximum it can get and you have to work with this number for any potential changes.
 
The only thing I would maybe add is a 4 man TTT, but I certainly wouldn't have more than one road race to cater for different categories of riders (eg one for climbers, one for cobbles specialists, one for puncheurs, one for sprinters). Not only would that be potentially impractical in some countries, but also takes away from the prestige of winning olympic gold on the road
 
Cannibal72 said:
Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
Not that I disagree with your point, but for Paris, the Vallee de Chevreuse can be set with a ton of climbs in rapid succession. Not true mountains of course, but a course that would take pure sprinters out of contention. I think.

I like MerckxIndex's idea: why not a (sort of) Criterium International format? Each stage is an individual event, and add a GC on top of it. Say, teams of 3 per nation.
Day 1: team ITT.
Day 2: Road race.
Day 3: individual ITT.
Aggregate time: Stage RR.
 
Tonton said:
Cannibal72 said:
Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
Not that I disagree with your point, but for Paris, the Vallee de Chevreuse can be set with a ton of climbs in rapid succession. Not true mountains of course, but a course that would take pure sprinters out of contention. I think.

I like MerckxIndex's idea: why not a (sort of) Criterium International format? Each stage is an individual event, and add a GC on top of it. Say, teams of 3 per nation.
Day 1: team ITT.
Day 2: Road race.
Day 3: individual ITT.
Aggregate time: Stage RR.
Exactly other sports get to do this such as Equestrian and Gymnastics
 
Cannibal72 said:
Gigs_98 said:
I have thought about this too, but I don't think it would work very well. First of all there can't be so many races because then a single medal wouldn't be so special anymore. It would only make sense if you could make a rather flat stage, then a hilly stage and then an ITT, maybe you could add a TTT too although I think that's not a very good idea, since the olympics already have the team events in track cycling. The problem is that you can't always do that. If the Olympics are in a completely flat region you maybe have to make 2 sprint stages and then the winner of the ITT is automatically the winner of the gc too since there won't be any time gaps on the flat stages.

Maybe you could do the normal RR, and the ITT, then 2 or 3 short stages where you don't get medals but the time counts for the gc (like in sailing where you also don't get a medal after every run) and after the last stage there is the gc winner. Preferable I would make a pursuit race where everyone starttime is depending on the gc, because that would mean that the first one who crosses the line is still always the winner of the whole race. Would be very experimental but I'd like to see that.
This is a great idea.

One way Merckx Index's idea is somewhat impractical: it's not always possible to construct a breakaway stage, a climbers' stage, etc etc. We're lucky this year that the Olympics were held in a city with the potential for an excellent course, but many don't have the topography for such a varied stage race. Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
That's not really a problem. Surfing will be part of the Olympics as of the next games, many possible host cities are nowhere near the sea. I'd imagine such events would happen elsewhere.
 
If they were to implement a stage race-esque system then I would do it this way.

You have several road races, one for each category of racer. A flat race, a puncheur race, a cobbled/gravel/dirt road race, a Paris-Nice Promenade des Anglais type race, a climbing race and of course the existing time trial. You might also want to expand the time trial element into a 70km flat ITT, a 30km lumpy one, a prologue, a mountain time trial and an all-descending time trial.

Then you have some options.

1. All of the above events either earn a Gold medal and are standalone events. If you wanted to keep each race as a strict contest between the type of rider it is designed for - ie to prevent Vinokourov and Uran winning on a course for sprinters, you could make riders only eligible for two events each. For instance Sagan might want to sign up for the cobbled road race and the descent time trial. Contador would sign up for the climbers' road race and MTT. Cavendish for the flat road race and prologue, etc.

2. They are all stages in a Gold medal stage race to determine the best all-round cyclist. Individual stages don't award a Gold medal, only the overall competition. No bonus seconds. You could limit each country to one, maybe two riders in order to have a small peloton in the road stages so it really felt like each rider was proving themselves individually as all-rounders. Naturally riders like Valverde, GVA, Sagan, Thomas, Benoot, Cancellara, Nibali, EBH, Kwiatkowski, T Martin, Froome, Wellens and Gallopin would do best.

Edit: And for option 1, you would have a team Gold medal competition for the nation with most winners.
 
Feb 20, 2016
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Sailing an individual sport? You know there are classes with more than one person?

Cycling should be out of the olympics. The IOC will be brought down soon harder than all the rest of the big organizations pretty soon I hope, and an olympic year just messing with the calendar anyway. Of course there was a nice race there this year, and last olympics too but I don't like the olympics so I don't care about that.

If cycling should be in olympics, make it an amateur race like it's supposed to be.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re:

Thepirateisgood said:
Sailing an individual sport? You know there are classes with more than one person?

Cycling should be out of the olympics. The IOC will be brought down soon harder than all the rest of the big organizations pretty soon I hope, and an olympic year just messing with the calendar anyway. Of course there was a nice race there this year, and last olympics too but I don't like the olympics so I don't care about that.

If cycling should be in olympics, make it an amateur race like it's supposed to be.
There's nothing wrong with cycling being an Olympic sport... Track cycling on the other hand is a joke.
 
Feb 20, 2016
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Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Thepirateisgood said:
Sailing an individual sport? You know there are classes with more than one person?

Cycling should be out of the olympics. The IOC will be brought down soon harder than all the rest of the big organizations pretty soon I hope, and an olympic year just messing with the calendar anyway. Of course there was a nice race there this year, and last olympics too but I don't like the olympics so I don't care about that.

If cycling should be in olympics, make it an amateur race like it's supposed to be.
There's nothing wrong with cycling being an Olympic sport... Track cycling on the other hand is a joke.
Other way around I think. Summer Olympics are about those smaller sports that don't get too much exposure otherwise (Except track and field, swimming maybe). I mean, modern pentathlon (or what its called, was on yesterday)?
 
Re: Re:

Thepirateisgood said:
El Pistolero said:
Thepirateisgood said:
Sailing an individual sport? You know there are classes with more than one person?

Cycling should be out of the olympics. The IOC will be brought down soon harder than all the rest of the big organizations pretty soon I hope, and an olympic year just messing with the calendar anyway. Of course there was a nice race there this year, and last olympics too but I don't like the olympics so I don't care about that.

If cycling should be in olympics, make it an amateur race like it's supposed to be.
There's nothing wrong with cycling being an Olympic sport... Track cycling on the other hand is a joke.
Other way around I think. Summer Olympics are about those smaller sports that don't get too much exposure otherwise (Except track and field, swimming maybe). I mean, modern pentathlon (or what its called, was on yesterday)?
Football, handball, tennis, badminton, and other sports which might be popular in other parts of the world.

Back on topic.
I don't think it would work either, simply for the reason which has already been stated; The Olympics, as with the Worlds, is a one day race; whoever has the best legs on the day wins. Sometimes the route will favour climbers, sometimes sprinters, sometimes puncheurs, sometimes the random breakaway person.
Getting an Olympic medal in cycling is so special because there are so few medals at stake; any rider participating on the road can maximum bring home two medals. Of course it also requires a bit of luck; you better hope there'll be a route that suits you during your active career, and that you're selected. Which just makes getting the medal even more special.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Cannibal72 said:
One way Merckx Index's idea is somewhat impractical: it's not always possible to construct a breakaway stage, a climbers' stage, etc etc. We're lucky this year that the Olympics were held in a city with the potential for an excellent course, but many don't have the topography for such a varied stage race. Take Paris, for instance, the likely 2024 host: where would you have your climbers' stage?
Olympic Games usually have venues outside the host city. For example, Manaus is about 2,800 km from Rio yet it was one of the 2016 Olympic venues. The Massif Central, by comparison, is just a few hundred kilometres from Paris.

I think it's a bad idea, though.
 

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