What a great day for a ride!We woke to yet another sunny and clear morning, so what better opportunity than this to load up the bikes and show some guests the hills north of Beijing. The friends we took included well-known USA Today cycling reporter Sal Rubal, Steve Blick from Oakley, a rider from one of USA Cycling’s sponsors (a Nike guy) and several others. We met on the West side of Beijing, and after getting all 9 bikes set up, we rode into the hills. Within no more than 15 minutes, we were on quiet, secluded trails and it was hard to believe that we were only several kilometers from a city of 15million people. We rode for a couple of hours and everyone felt it was a nice break from the non-stop grind of covering and working the Olympics.
Following several media interviews and engagements, we got cleaned up and were back to the track for the final session of Beijing Olympic Track Cycling. The main event was the men and women’s individual sprint, but the night also awarded medals in the Madison. While the sprint is pretty straight forward, the Madison is anything but. The Madison which is a two-person tag team of sorts was started in 1891 as an event held in MadisonSquareGardens, hence the name. The Madison is made up of multiple teams of two riders, whose goal is not only to gain points in mid-race sprints, but who also try to launch attacks off the front in order to gain laps on the rest of the field. This is a very tactical and somewhat difficult to follow where each team is in relation to the lead lap. The winners were from Argentina and while they were not total under dogs, they were certainly not the team on most people’s minds.
Tomorrow is BMX. The city seems to be buzzing about this new sport. You at least know you are doing something right when other stars, like those from US Men’s Bball, are scrambling for tickets. Thanks so much for reading.