From the Sports Lab to the 8x100m relay, Nanjing 2014 has seen plenty of innovation in event formats, not least in the cycling.
The main men’s and women’s events had pitted mountain bikers against road racers, and seen time trialists adapt their skills to BMX.
And the two-wheeled experimentation came to an exciting conclusion on 24 August with a new format mixed relay team race.
Combined teams of two men and two women took on a mountain bike course, before passing the baton to the road specialists, who tussled for the medals.
In conditions made more challenging by heavy rain, the Czech Republic emerged with gold, pipping Italy in a photo finish. Ukraine took the bronze.
Nikola Noskova (CZE) edged the decisive sprint finish, beating her Italian rival Sofia Beggin, who had performed so brilliantly to win the women’s team gold three days earlier.
“I’m so very happy, it’s incredible to win gold,” Noskova said. “The sprint was very close.” Roman Lehky, Jan Rajchart and Barbora Prudkova made up the rest of the victorious Czech team.
“Nikka is the best, her sprint was amazing,” purred Prudkova of her team-mate Noskova, and she was equally full of praise for the new format. “This is an exciting and brilliant event.”