Skip to main content

Roadies count down as trackies arrive

Image 1 of 43

United States of America riders train alongside

United States of America riders train alongside (Image credit: AFP)
Image 2 of 43

Riders from various teams tackle the climb near China's Great Wall

Riders from various teams tackle the climb near China's Great Wall (Image credit: AFP)
Image 3 of 43

Norwegian national team riders fly by a Chinese temple

Norwegian national team riders fly by a Chinese temple (Image credit: AFP)
Image 4 of 43

The Belgian national team has some fun while training for tomorrow's race.

The Belgian national team has some fun while training for tomorrow's race. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 5 of 43

New Zealand's Timothy Gudsell has some fun

New Zealand's Timothy Gudsell has some fun (Image credit: AFP)
Image 6 of 43

The women have an extra day before their race,

The women have an extra day before their race, (Image credit: AFP)
Image 7 of 43

Stuart O'Grady leads the Australian national squad

Stuart O'Grady leads the Australian national squad (Image credit: AFP)
Image 8 of 43

France's Cyril Dessel goes it alone on the climb

France's Cyril Dessel goes it alone on the climb (Image credit: AFP)
Image 9 of 43

Defending Olympic Champion Paolo Bettini readies for a

Defending Olympic Champion Paolo Bettini readies for a (Image credit: AFP)
Image 10 of 43

Brothers in arms: Team CSC team-mates Frank and Andy Schleck

Brothers in arms: Team CSC team-mates Frank and Andy Schleck (Image credit: AFP)
Image 11 of 43

Security is tight everywhere in Chine, including at the Laoshan Velodrome.

Security is tight everywhere in Chine, including at the Laoshan Velodrome. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 12 of 43

An American track rider circles around the boards

An American track rider circles around the boards (Image credit: AFP)
Image 13 of 43

The United States of America track riders put the previous day's controversy behind them,

The United States of America track riders put the previous day's controversy behind them, (Image credit: AFP)
Image 14 of 43

The Netherlands squad makes its way around China's

The Netherlands squad makes its way around China's (Image credit: AFP)
Image 15 of 43

France's track squad will be one of the strongest at this year's Olympic Games.

France's track squad will be one of the strongest at this year's Olympic Games. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 16 of 43

British track cyclist Chris Hoy prepares for a warm-up session.

British track cyclist Chris Hoy prepares for a warm-up session. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 17 of 43

Track cyclist Victoria Pendleton is another of Great Britain's

Track cyclist Victoria Pendleton is another of Great Britain's (Image credit: AFP)
Image 18 of 43

Bradley Wiggins listens to some beats while warming up

Bradley Wiggins listens to some beats while warming up (Image credit: AFP)
Image 19 of 43

All warmed up: Great Britain's track team hits the Laoshan Velodrome.

All warmed up: Great Britain's track team hits the Laoshan Velodrome. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 20 of 43

The British and Chinese squads were out training ahead of this evening's opening ceremony.

The British and Chinese squads were out training ahead of this evening's opening ceremony. (Image credit: AFP)
Image 21 of 43

The Australian team tests the climb.

The Australian team tests the climb. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 22 of 43

Some of the Belgian road team

Some of the Belgian road team (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 23 of 43

Paolo Bettini leads the Italians

Paolo Bettini leads the Italians (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 24 of 43

Cadel Evans heads out for the ride.

Cadel Evans heads out for the ride. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 25 of 43

Evans heads up the climb.

Evans heads up the climb. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 26 of 43

The French team rides past a shrine

The French team rides past a shrine (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 27 of 43

England's Roger Hammond and Stephen Cummings warming up.

England's Roger Hammond and Stephen Cummings warming up. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 28 of 43

The Italian women take in the sites.

The Italian women take in the sites. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 29 of 43

Jeannie Longo and her husband

Jeannie Longo and her husband (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 30 of 43

Serbia's Ivan Stevic tests the course.

Serbia's Ivan Stevic tests the course. (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 31 of 43

A Temple and the Great Wall

A Temple and the Great Wall (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 32 of 43

A mixed squad of Americans and Canadians

A mixed squad of Americans and Canadians (Image credit: Casey Gibson)
Image 33 of 43

Fabian Wegmann (Germany)

Fabian Wegmann (Germany) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 34 of 43

Stefan Schumacher (Germany) kits up

Stefan Schumacher (Germany) kits up (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 35 of 43

Security is in evidence

Security is in evidence (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 36 of 43

Gerald Ciolek (Germany)

Gerald Ciolek (Germany) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 37 of 43

Levi Leipheimer (USA)

Levi Leipheimer (USA) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 38 of 43

The Belgian team poses

The Belgian team poses (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 39 of 43

The Belgian and Dutch teams

The Belgian and Dutch teams (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 40 of 43

Dutch riders take in the views

Dutch riders take in the views (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 41 of 43

Swiss and Dutch riders

Swiss and Dutch riders (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 42 of 43

The Belgian squad on the climb

The Belgian squad on the climb (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 43 of 43

Stefan Schumacher (Germany) is taking the pressure well.

Stefan Schumacher (Germany) is taking the pressure well. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tales from the peloton, August 8, 2008

The wait is nearly over, with less than 10 hours remaining before Beijing, China throws open its doors to the hundreds of millions expected to watch this evening's opening ceremony. While many will be preparing for a big celebration this evening, one bunch of athletes - the men's Olympic road race competitors - will be having an early night.

Athletes have spent the final day before tonight's celebrations getting into the training rhythm after touching down in China this week. An increased group of riders have been scoping the men's road race course, with the medals to be decided in just over 24 hours time. The women's road racers have an extra day up their sleeves before the race on Sunday, while the time trialists have until mid-next week to finish their preparations.

One day after making a controversial arrival wearing breathing masks, the United States of America track team put the media attention behind it and hit the Laoshan Velodrome. Joined by Great Britain, France, Ukraine, Netherlands and China, it was one of the first major training sessions held at the velodrome, with the track events not starting until next weekend.

The countdown to 8/8/2008 has been anything but squeaky clean. Protesters have already taken into custody, while cameramen have been focused on the sky above looking for the slightest improvement, or deterioration, in the smog situation. While a typhoon has been dampening spirits at Olympic venues in Hong Kong, Beijing has been given the World Health Organisation's air quality thumbs up.

So, let the Games begin.

Roadies count down as trackies arrive, August 8, 2008

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1