Changing China

Giant on the move

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Sorting out your madisons from your keirins

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A cyclist practises at the velodromeFiguring out the rules for the points race at the Olympic cycling, you need a calculator and a cool head. It is over by the time you have worked out what is going on.

The men do 40 km over 160 laps, the women 25km over 100 laps. That’s the easy part.

It starts getting complicated when the action hots up with a series of intermediate sprints. Riders get points for winning each sprint. But then any rider who gains a lap on the main bunch is awarded is awarded 20 points. Those losing a lap have 20 points deducted.

Still with it?

The winner is the one with the most points. But what if there is a draw? Then the judges have to check who placed where in the final sprint of the marathon race.

Charles in charge: speed, momentum and centrifugal force

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Charles in charge at the velodromeI’ve never met Matt Lauer from NBC but I was assured this week that I kicked his ass.

That was the consensus of several USA Cycling experts when I finally rolled off the Olympic velodrome after a gut-wrenching but exhilarating ride.

Beijing podcast — day three

I’m joined today by Mitch Phillips, Julian Linden and Padraic Halpin for a chat about Michael Phelps and the rest of the action on a fantastic morning in Beijing. Please forgive the long and winding intro…

Click here for day two’s podcast.

Cyclists go a little too fast for the ‘bicycle kingdom’

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Cyclists in the women’s road raceChina might once have been known as the ‘bicycle kingdom’, but if the scene along the women’s road race today is anything to go by, I wouldn’t hold my breath that the Olympics will inspire many Chinese people to become fans of competitive cycling.

A sizeable crowd gathered along an intersection near the historic Lama Temple in the centre of town to watch the racers go by this afternoon — some spectators who came specifically for the event, others passersby who were forced by the roadblock to wait and watch, many of them on bicycles themselves.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Picture of the day

Russell Boyce writes: Rome-based photographer Stefano Rellandini has captured the joy of winning and the agony of coming so close to that precious gold medal, but just falling short.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez covers his head in ecstasy after winning the men’s road race gold while Davide Rebellin (2nd R) of Italy and Fabian Cancellara (R) of Switzerland can only look on in despair.

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