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Olympic Games, 2020
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Dates: July 23 – August 8, 2021
Useful links: Event schedule | Road race and time trial courses | Men's road race start list | Women's road race start list | Men's time trial start list | Women's time trial start list | Guide to track cycling | Guide to mountain biking
While cycling has its major annual events in which each rider strives for success, every four years an opportunity arises to take a rare and historic gold medal at the Olympic Games.
For the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling events, however, the riders have had to wait five years. Originally scheduled for July/August 2020, the Games were moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now taking place between July 23 and August 8 2021, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are still hamstrung by the effects of the coronavirus, with athletes subject to daily testing and restricted movement. Moreover, there will be no spectators at all for the Games in Japan due to a continuing surge of Covid cases.
Fortunately all the scheduled events are still set to go ahead, with the men's road race on Saturday (July 24) the first event to award a medal in the entire 2020 Olympics. That will be followed by the women's road race on Sunday (July 25) before both the men's and women's individual time trials on Wednesday (July 28).
Many of the world's best riders from the professional peloton will be in attendance, with defending champions Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) and Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) both in Tokyo to defend the road race gold medals they won at Rio 2016. There'll be new champions in the time trials after Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and Kristin Armstrong (USA) retired following the last Olympics.
Of course there's much more than road cycling at the Olympic Games, including a host of track events to enjoy, including the team pursuit, the newly revamped Omnium, the Madison, the sprint, the team sprint, and the keirin. All the track events take place between August 2 and the final day of the Games on August 8.
Elsewhere there'll be the men's and women's cross-country mountain biking races, which take place on Monday July 26 and Tuesday July 27 respectively.
Finally there's the two BMX events, the Freestyle and the Racing. The Freestyle takes place on July 31 and August 1, with the Racing on July 29 and 30.
The only race you could really compare the Olympics road race to is the World Championships. Both races are usually based around a circuit in the road race and quite long time trials with riders competing for their countries and not their trade teams.
But, of course with the Olympics, riders have to wait for another four, or five, in this case, years before having another go at winning. In the World Championships, riders can try every 12 months. There aren't too many chances to go for a gold medal in a professional career, so it attracts a very exciting field of world-class talent.
In Tokyo, the Olympic men's road race will take place on Saturday, July 24. The Olympic women's road race follows on Sunday, July 25.
On Wednesday, July 28, both men and women will race their respective Olympic time trials.
After the road events, we see the track riders take to the Izu Velodrome on Monday, August 2 through to Sunday, August 8.
The riders will compete in the team pursuit, sprint, team sprint, omnium, and the newly added madison.
The Tokyo 2020 track cycling has a new format for the omnium with four endurance races, those being the scratch, elimination, tempo, and points race all in one day of competition, compared to the old two-day fight that had a flying lap, individual pursuit, and a time trial.
For an in-depth explanation of each event, check out our guide to track cycling disciplines.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycling schedule
Road race events
Saturday July 24, men's road race, 11.00am-6.15pm, (234km) Route
Sunday July 25, women's road race, 1.00pm-5.35pm (137km) Route
Time trial events
Wednesday July 28, men's and women's time trials, 11.30am-5.20pm (44.2km and 22.1km) Route
Monday August 2, 3.30pm - 6.30pm
Women's Team Sprint Qualifying
Women's Team Pursuit Qualifying
Women's Team Sprint First round
Men's Team Pursuit Qualifying
Women's Team Sprint Finals
Women's Team Sprint Victory Ceremony
Tuesday August 3, 3.30pm - 6.10pm
Women's Team Pursuit First round
Men's Team Sprint Qualifying
Men's Team Pursuit First round
Men's Team Sprint First round
Women's Team Pursuit Finals
Men's Team Sprint Finals
Women's Team Pursuit Victory Ceremony
Men's Team Sprint Victory Ceremony
Wednesday August 4, 3.30pm - 7.00pm
Men's Sprint Qualifying
Women's Keirin First round
Men's Sprint 1/32 Finals
Women's Keirin First round Repechages
Men's Sprint 1/32 Finals Repechages
Men's Team Pursuit Finals
Men's Sprint 1/16 Finals
Men's Team Pursuit Victory Ceremony
Men's Sprint 1/16 Finals Repechages
Thursday August 5, 3.30pm - 6:50pm
Men's Omnium Scratch Race 1\4
Men's Sprint 1/8 Finals
Women's Keirin Second Round
Men's Sprint 1/8 Finals Repechages
Men's Omnium Tempo Race 2\4
Men's Sprint 1/4 Finals
Women's Keirin Third Round
Men's Omnium Elimination Race 3\4
Women's Keirin Final Places 7 to 12
Women's Keirin Finals
Men's Omnium Points Race 4\4
Men's Sprint Final Places 5 to 8
Women's Keirin Victory Ceremony
Men's Omnium Victory Ceremony
Friday August 6, 3.30pm - 5.15pm
Women's Sprint Qualifying
Men's Sprint 1/2 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/32 Finals
Women's Sprint 1/32 Finals Repechages
Women's Madison Final
Men's Sprint Final Places 3-4 & 1-2
Women's Sprint 1/16 Finals
Women's Madison Victory Ceremony
Women's Sprint 1/16 Finals Repechages
Men's Sprint Victory Ceremony
Saturday, August 7, 3.30pm - 6.25pm
Women's Sprint 1/8 Finals
Men's Keirin First Round
Women's Sprint 1/8 Finals Repechages
Men's Keirin Repechages
Women's Sprint Quarterfinals
Men's Madison Final
Men's Madison Victory Ceremony
Sunday, August 8, 10am - 1.15pm
Women's Omnium Scratch Race 1/4
Women's Sprint Semifinals
Men's Keirin Quarterfinals
Women's Omnium Tempo Race 2/4
Women's Sprint Race for 5th-8th Places
Men's Keirin Semifinals
Women's Sprint Finals
Women's Omnium Elimination Race 3/4
Men's Keirin Final 7-12
Men's Keirin Final 1-6
Men's Keirin Victory Ceremony
Women's Omnium Points Race 4/4
Women's Sprint Victory Ceremony
Women's Omnium Victory Ceremony
Thurs July 29, BMX Racing Qualifiers, 10am-12pm
Fri July 30, BMX Racing Finals, 10am-12.20pm
Sat July 31, BMX Freestyle Qualifiers, 10.10am-12.20pm
Sun August 1, BMX Freestyle Finals, 10.10am-12.45pm
Mon July 26, men's cross country, 3pm-5pm
Tues July 27, women's cross country, 3pm-5pm
Reigning champions: Rio 2016 Olympic cycling winners
- Men’s road race: Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium)
- Women’s road race Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands)
- Women’s time trial: Kristin Armstrong (USA)
- Men’s time trial: Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
- Men’s team sprint: Great Britain
- Women’s team sprint: China
- Men’s team pursuit: Great Britain
- Women’s team pursuit: Great Britain
- Men’s sprint: Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
- Women’s sprint: Kristina Vogel (Germany)
- Men’s keirin: Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
- Women’s keirin: Elis Ligtlee (Netherlands)
- Men’s omnium: Elia Viviani (Italy)
- Women’s omnium: Laura Trott (Great Britain)
- Men’s BMX: Connor Fields (USA)
- Women’s BMX: Mariana Pajon (Colombia)
- Men’s mountain bike: Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
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