An exciting mix of BMX, mountain biking and road cycling, the cycling competitions at Nanjing 2014 will place the accent firmly on team spirit, with teams of two competing in junior men and junior women’s events, and then teams of four competing in the junior mixed team relay.
The cycling programme at Nanjing 2014 includes all the traditional Olympic disciplines with the exception of track cycling: BMX, Mountain Bike Cross Country Olympic (XCO), Mountain Bike Cross Country Eliminator (XCE), Road Race and Road Time Trial. The difference is that all of the competitions at the YOG are team-based and not individual, with only three gold medals on offer, in the junior men, junior women and junior mixed team relay events.
The junior men’s and junior women’s events follow the same innovative format, with 32 two-rider teams starting each one. Both competitors in each team must ride in two of the following events, with only one team member competing per event: BMX, XCO, XCE and the time trial. Both riders are then required to compete in the road race. Points will be allocated at the end of each race as follows: 100 for first place, 80 for second, 65 for third and so on down to one point for 16th. Points awarded in the BMX race count double, with 200 going to the winner. The team that accumulates the highest points total wins the competition.
Mixed team relay
The two-rider team competitions take place over the first six days of the Games. Following a rest day on Day 7, the cycling action resumes on 24 August with the mixed team relay, featuring 32 teams of four riders (two women and two men). Where possible, each team will comprise four athletes from the same National Olympic Committee (NOC). If this is not possible, lots will be drawn to determine which teams will be made up from two different NOCs.
The format of this exciting competition is as follows: a men’s XCO race, followed by a women’s XCO race and then a men’s road race and a women’s road race, with one rider from each team competing in each event.
The competition takes place without interruption, with riders in each team “passing the baton” to each other by making physical contact in a specially designated handover zone. Should the contact be made outside this zone, the team in question will be disqualified. The team crossing the line first at the end of the fourth and final leg – the women’s road race – will be declared the winners.