After a five year wait the Olympic Games are finally here - hopefully it’ll be well worth the wait for the ‘Fab Five’ Scots who will line up for Team GB in the Japanese capital, starting on Saturday 24th July.
It can be easy to lose track of events with such a diverse catalogue of sports and disciplines on offer over the next 16 days, so we’ve pulled together a one-stop guide to keep all of you Scottish Cycling fans in the loop.
Saturday 24th July sees the Men’s Road Race kick-start proceedings, with Tao Geoghegan Hart competing as part of a five-strong Team GB squad. The men's road race will be 234 kilometres long with a total elevation of 4865m, including an ascent of Mikuni Pass, which is a 6km climb with an average gradient of 10.2%. Tao will also be competing in the Individual Time Trial on Wednesday morning.
Milngavie’s Anna Shackley will be riding in support of Lizzie Deignan in the Women’s Road Race, which takes place on Sunday 25th July – she will also be the sole Team GB representative in the Individual Time Trial on Wednesday, on her Olympic debut.
Speaking of the road races, Shackley said:
“I definitely say that hillier races suit me better. It’s not quite as hilly as the men’s but it there is still quite a lot of climbing for the length of the race. There is a 40km drag in which I hope to do my bit for Lizzie Deignan.”
We caught up with Anna last week ahead of her flight to Japan – read our full feature with her here.
The Track events kick-off on Monday 2nd August, with Katie Archibald and Neah Evans the first to go in the Women’s Team Pursuit, whilst Jack Carlin will be looking forward to the Men’s Team Sprint, which starts the very next day. Archibald will also feature in the Madison alongside Laura Kenny, with that event taking place on Friday 6th August.
Of her aspirations for Tokyo, Archibald commented:
“My mindset going into these Games is that I want to win a gold medal in the Team Pursuit and the Madison. It sounds very simple when you squeeze it into a two second soundbite, but it’s a big deal.”
And on being part of that coveted Team Pursuit squad, Evans added:
“From a British Cycling standpoint the Team Pursuit has been the main focus of any single event and they’ve been so consistent in the Olympics as well as throughout other big events, so we always target the Team Pursuit with every other discipline secondary to that. To be part of the Team Pursuit squad is huge; quite a lot of pressure going forward, but it’s cool!"
A full schedule for the 'Fab Five' can be seen below.