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Subject: Cycling's arms race could ...
Content: IZU, Japan (AP) — One thing that sets cycling apart from most other sports at the Olympics...

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Cycling's arms race could help decide Tokyo Olympics medals

Source:Taiwan External Trade Development Council
Revise Date:2021-08-02
IZU, Japan (AP) — One thing that sets cycling apart from most other sports at the Olympics is the importance of technology.

With the exception of a few other sports, such as sailing and rowing, most events that take place at the Summer Games come down solely to the performance of the athlete.

They try to swim and run faster, jump and climb higher, lift and hit with more strength, and that is what determines whether they go home with a medal.

In cycling, the competition is so close — often hundredths of a second separates riders — that the difference in winning and losing can be found in the bike, the wheels, the kit and even the helmet that they choose to wear.

Want proof? After six hours of racing, silver and bronze in the men's road race Saturday was decided in a photo finish.

“Speed and winning are the name of the game,” said Bouker Pool, the chief commercial officer at USA Cycling, which has partnered for years with American manufacturer Felt Bicycles in researching and developing their Olympic steeds.

That's why federations and equipment partners spend each four-year cycle between Olympics doing everything they can to shave a few grams from their bikes, carve them into increasingly aerodynamic shapes and, perhaps most importantly, find a way to transfer every last watt from the pedal to the pavement in search of speed.

For high-profile teams such as the U.S. and Britain, that means an exceedingly expensive arms race.

The U.S. made headlines five years ago at the Rio Games, when it rolled out a radical track bike design that moved the entire drive train from the right side to the left. Researchers at Felt claimed that it made the bike better through the tight corners of the velodrome, giving the Americans a big advantage in endurance events.

It might not catch the attention of the average bicyclist, who probably can't think to themselves what side the drive train is on their own bikes. But it caused plenty of consternation from the UCI, the sport's global governing body, which doesn't always appreciate the way some nations think outside the box.

Source: Taiwan News
Alice Huang (alicek576@taitra.org.tw)



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Published Date:2021-08-02