Cycling Criterium in Shetland 2005.
The cycling events including Road Race, Time Trial, Criterium and Cross Country.
Cycling is a sport that is divided into four different categories. In the Island Games, there is Road Racing, a Time Trial, the Criterium, and Cross Country Mountain Bike racing. Take a look at our quick guide to find out more.
This is exactly what it sounds like – racing along existing roads of whichever island is hosting the games. Obviously, these roads, the route of which will be circular, are closed to traffic for the race!
International events range from short Junior races of an hour or less, through to one day classics of over 250km like Paris-Roubaix, to perhaps the most famous road race of them all, the Tour de France which involves some 3,500km around France for three weeks every summer.
In the early days of cycle racing, road racing was frowned upon by motorists and the authorities, to the extent that it was decided that all competition would be taken off the road and only take place on closed circuits. Events of all distances even up to 24 hours duration, were thus transferred to tracks.
Road Race start & finish at Lindos Bay.
But there were cyclists who still wanted to pursue their sport on the open road. So a cunning plan was hatched. If each rider were to dispatched separately and just timed over the course, it wouldn't be seen to be racing, just going about normal business, but a bit faster perhaps than normal. Then the person covering the course in the shortest time could be declared the winner.
This is normally the climax to the Island Games, traditionally the last event to take place, but may take place earlier in the week at Rhodes 2007 due to safety concerns caused by the amount of tourists that will be in the area.
The course is around the town centre, and provides a thrilling spectacle for cyclists and spectators.
Cross Country - Mountain Biking
Endurance, fitness and machine control all combine to make a top Cross-Country rider. It's competed on a marked lap (typically one to three miles) with climbing, descending, single-track and technical sections of tight turns and difficult terrain. Cross-country bikes are ultra-lightweight with front and sometimes rear suspension.
Cross-Country mountain biking became an Olympic sport in 1996. Mountain biking is a relatively young sport – it started in the USA in the early eighties. Ten years later, in 1994, mountain bikes made up 66% of adult bikes sold in the UK.
Cycling has strong support in the island and athletes competed in the cycling events in 1999, 2001 and 2003 NatWest Island Games. The women's team took the bronze medal in the Criterium in the Isle of Man, 2001 and in 2003 Chalime Gkiourmpouz finished second in the Women's Individual Time Trial.
All the circuits being used are part of the 'Tour of Rhodes' which are recognised by the International Cycling Federation.
The mountain bike circuit is located in the Agios Silas area, the site of many previous similar events.
last updated: 13/10/2008 at 12:52