How and where to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic Games cycling

A cycling fan's guide to watching Rio 2016

With the Rio Olympic Games getting under way later this week, Cyclingnews has put together a guide for how best to catch the road, track, BMX and cross-country events.

Cycling is one of the first sports on the Olympic Games schedule in 2016 with the men's and women's road race events taking place on the first weekend of competition. In total, 18 cycling events will take place from August 6 to 21 with no changes from the London 2012 Games.

Australians can watch the cycling on the Seven Network while in the UK, BBC is broadcasting the games. In the United States, NBC will be broadcasting the cycling both online and on some of its channels. Check local listing for the specific television coverage.

Road Race Events - August 6 and 7

The road race events will start at Fort Copacabana, head west via the coastal road passing Ipanema, Barra, and Reserva Maripendi Beaches to the 24.8 km Pontal / Grumari circuit loop where the peloton will complete four laps. The riders then head East back along the coastal road for the three-laps of the Vista Chinesa Circuit loop then finish back at Fort Copacabana.

Chris Froome (Great Britain), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Alejandro Valverde (Spain) are considered favourites for the gold but there will be plenty of outsiders such as Tim Wellens (Belgium) and a strong Dutch squad that are in contention to cause an upset.

The women's race also contains several potential winners with Ana van der Breggen (Netherlands) and Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) as the leading contenders. 

  • Saturday, 6th August: The men's 256.4km road race starts at around 9:30am local time (1.30pm UK time / 8:30am EST / 10:30pm Sydney time).
  • Sunday, 7th August: The women's 141km road race starts at around 12.30pm local time (4.30pm UK time / 11:30am EST / 1:30am Monday in Sydney).

Time Trial Events - August 10

The next cycling gold medals to be decided in Rio will be against the clock in Pontal with the riders tackling the 29.8km Grumari circuit from the road race. The women will complete one lap of the circuit to decide the gold medal with the men to complete two laps.

The men's pre-race favourites includes Froome, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) and Rohan Dennis (Australia). The women's favourites include Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Emma Pooley (Great Britain), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) and defending champion Kristin Armstrong (USA).

  • Wednesday, 10th August: The women's 29.8km road time trial starts at 12:30pm local time (4.30pm UK time / 11:30am EST / 1:30am Thursday in Sydney).
  • Wednesday, 10th August: The men's 59.6km road time trial starts at 2pm local time (6pm UK time / 1pm EST / 3am Thursday in Sydney).

Track Events - August 11-16

With the road events completed, cycling moves indoors and onto the velodrome with six days of track events. Ten gold medals will be up for grabs in the men and women's sprint, team sprint, Keirin, team pursuit, and omnium. Great Britain won seven of the ten gold medals in London 2012 and will be the nation to beat across the ten events.

  • Thursday 11th August: Men's team sprint qualifying, first round and finals; men's team pursuit qualifying; women's team pursuit qualifying.
  • Friday 12th August: Men's sprint qualifying and 1/16 finals; men's team pursuit first round and finals; women's team pursuit qualifying; women's team sprint first round and finals.
  • Saturday 13th August: Men's sprint 1/8 finals, quarter finals and semi finals; women's Keirin first round, second round and finals; women's team pursuit first round and finals.
  • Sunday 14th August: Men's omnium scratch race, omnium individual pursuit and omnium elimination race; men's sprint finals; women's sprint qualifying and finals.
  • Monday 15th August: Men's omnium time trial, omnium flying lap and omnium points race; women's sprint 1/8 finals; women's omnium scratch race, omnium individual pursuit and omnium elimination race.
  • Tuesday 16th August: Men's Keirin first round, second round and finals; women's sprint quarter finals, semi-finals and finals; women's omnium time trial, omnium flying lap and omnium points race.

BMX Events - August 17-19

The most recent cycling event to be added to the Olympic Games, the BMX will be held over three days at the 5000 seater Olympic BMX Center. Maris Štrombergs (Latvia) and Mariana Pajón (Colombia) won gold in London with Štrombergs looking for the hat-trick in Rio.

  • Wednesday 17th August: Men's BMX seeding run; women's BMX seeding run.
  • Thursday 18th August: Men's BMX quarter finals.
  • Friday 19th August: Men's BMX semi-finals and final; women's BMX semi-finals and final.

MTB Events - August 20-21

The final cycling events of the 2016 Olympic Games are the men and women's cross-country races at the Mountain Bike Center in Deodoro Pentathlon Park to held over the weekend of August 20-21. Jaroslav Kulhavý (Czech Republic) and Julie Bresset (France) are the defending champions with both riders set to line up in Rio. Road World Champion Peter Sagan will be a rider to watch as he takes to the dirt with the road race not suited to his characteristics. 

  • Saturday, 20th August: The women's cross-country mountain bike race 12:30pm local time (4.30pm UK time / 11:30am EST / 1:30am AEST (Monday)
  • Sunday, 21st August: The men's cross-country mountain bike race starts 12:30pm local time (4.30pm UK time / 11:30am EST / 1:30am AEST (Monday) 

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