Namibian Dan Craven has been handed a late slot in Wednesday's Olympic time trial, but only decided to ride it after consulting with his Twitter followers
Dan Craven (Namibia) will take part in Wednesday’s men’s individual time trial at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after being handed a late slot – and consulting with Twitter as to whether he should ride it.
After several riders were unable to start the time trial due to injuries they sustained in the road race on Saturday, Namibia was handed a place. As his nation’s only road cycling representative at the Games, it fell to Craven to decide whether to ride.
“I’ve just been asked if I’d race the #OlympicTimeTrial tomorrow (so many crashes in road race..),” said Craven on Tuesday. “No TT bike etc. What do you guys reckon?”
The unanimous response was that he should ride. Many wanted to see Craven repeating ‘his’ live tweeting during the event, in reference to messages sent out via Craven’s Twitter account throughout the road race. It appeared as though he was giving a light-hearted running commentary, but it transpired it was the work of his girlfriend Collyn Ahart.
After being enticed into putting his name down for the TT, Craven said: “I never learn do I”, and shared an image of the official start times for the event which show him as first man off.
As Craven was only due to ride the road race, he does not have his time trial bike with him in Rio. But as some of his Twitter followers pointed out, the hilly course means that he may not be at such a major disadvantage as those using full-on aero machines.
Craven will no doubt enjoy the pride of riding for Namibia in the prestigious event, no matter what the outcome is.
Great Britain also benefitted from a re-allocated place in the men’s time trial, with Geraint Thomas being handed a last-minute ride. He will take part in GB colours along with front-runner Chris Froome, who will be last man off on Wednesday.
Unlike Craven, Thomas already had his aero time trial bike and kit with him as he was a stand-in should Froome not be able to ride.