Thursday, August 07, 2008

Official G:TB Olympic Preview: Track Cycling

Today’s featured Olympic event combines elements of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, strategy that would be at home in a NASCAR race, rocket science, and extremely form-fitting apparel. Let’s hope NBC uses one of those pixelating thingies when they televise the men’s competition, yes?

Oh, and a big part of the event features competitors standing completely still while balancing on bicycles in the middle of an oval banked somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees. I give you the Individual Sprint competition in the Track Cycling venue.

Called by some “the fastest 10 seconds in sport”, and by others “why the fuck are they just sitting there”, Individual Sprint is a lot like my college sex life – lots of standing around doing nothing followed by a furious flurry of action and one person feeling a whole lot better than the other. Curiously, table tennis offers a different, though similarly accurate analogy – competitors flailing away with one hand in what is ultimately a silly and inconsequential endeavor.

The US Cycling Federation’s website…is hopelessly chaotic and impossible to navigate, so we’ll turn to our old friends at Wikipedia for a brief description of Individual Sprint. According to the unerring and righteous ‘pedia, “The sprint is a track cycling event involving a one-on-one match race between opponents who, unlike in the individual pursuit, start next to each other.”

Simple enough, except that the opponents must complete 4 laps of the 250m track to determine who wins, and the competitors usually spend the first 750m of the race riding at an roughly the same pace as the athletes competing in the bike race portion of the old ‘Superstars’ series (and how awesome was that, by the way?), with one rider hoping to use the aerodynamic advantage inherent in drafting to slingshot around the other to the finish line. It is not uncommon to see both riders at a dead stop halfway up the track waiting to see who blinks first, followed by a pell-mell dash to the finish line.

SI thinks the Netherlands’ Theo Bos will take the gold, and since I love me some Orange, I see no reason to disagree. Look out for Jennie Reed of the good old US of A in the distaff competition. Because she’s a big girl moving really fast, and if you don’t look out you’ll wind up pancaked.

Competition starts on August 16, with the finals for both genders on the 19th.

54 comments:

rob said...

steinbog is killing it from beijing. best olympics coverage on the web by far right now.

Zoltan said...

Did you ever see the Superstars episode with OJ? After putting on an impossibly athletic display of speed, strenghth, and bowling, the announcer concluded that "he is not of this earth." I can't believe TJ hasn't found this on the YooToobs yet.

TJ said...

Trust me Big Z, I have looked...a lot.

TJ said...

Didn't Joe Frazier almost drown on that show?

rob said...

first person to find that video gets an autographed picture of teejay signed 'o.j. simspon'.

TJ said...

Hey Mark, this one's for you:

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a grandmother was arrested for driving around the parking lot of a Marathon grocery store with her 3-year-old child sitting on the roof of the car.

rob said...

crap. i just read james fallows' recap of the opening ceremonies. totally ruins it for me tonight.

TJ said...

Then why the fuck didn't you stop reading it?

Zoltan said...

Frazier did indeed almost drown but on a different episode. Heat 2 has Johnny U, Johnny Bench, and namesake of the best sneakers ever, Rod Laver.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPk2zl5s6xM

TJ said...

And Jean-Claude Killy was in that heat as well? He's the skiing guy who got Phil Hartmaned by his wife, yes?

rob said...

according to our friends at wiki, jck is still alive and kicking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Killy

rob said...

russia just invaded georgia. chipper jones is watching red dawn to get psyched up to fight back.

TJ said...

South Ossetia is quite literally on fire.

TJ said...

Did you catch this on the Killy wiki page?

Killy played himself in the 1983 movie Copper Mountain: A Club Med Experience, starring Jim Carrey and Alan Thicke, set at the now closed Club Med village in the U.S. ski resort at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Now that's quite a film and cast.

Rhymenocerous said...

I've been a fan of Carrey since his Once Bitten and Earth Girls are Easy days.

Canucks, they know their comedy...

TJ said...

Fuck you Hollywood. Fuck you.

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have reportedly signed up to star in a fifth Lethal Weapon movie.

The actors are said to be in negotiations for Lethal Weapon 5 - ten years after the release of the fourth installment of the action franchise.

Director Richard Donner, who oversaw all four of the previous films, last year revealed that he was ready to make another movie - as long as Gibson agreed.

And now it looks as if the picture could finally get the green light.

A source tells British newspaper the Daily Star, "Lethal Weapon 5 is a go. Mel and Danny are back. The script is fabulous!"

Mark said...

Rod Lavers...so much better than Stan Smiths...

TJ said...

Dennis loves Stan Smith...and even that dumb Roger character.

Wait, we're not talking American Dad?

Whitney said...

TJ, where did you get the notion that Jean-Claude Killy "got Phil Hartmaned by his wife"??

Or did you just mean that his wife did some funny voices to him?

TJ said...

Someone help me here - who is the famous skier who got shot by his wife?

Greg said...

Actually Mark, the original Stan Smiths are far superior to Rod Lavars. But only the originals. The new ones are joyless semi-copies. Stan Smiths in name only.

Zoltan said...

I owned Stan Smiths in the 1980's. Lavers are better. Don't take my word for it. Go buy a pair. Be sure to get the mesh ones, not the bullschtein newfangled leather ones. Ilie Nastases aren't bad either, but they are no Rod Lavers.

Mark said...

I've seen the orignal Stan Smiths Greg and I respectfully disagree with you here.

The Rod Laver's (which I own) have more style. Maybe its just your boring German soul that prefers the Stan Smiths.

Rhymenocerous said...

So who can explain the logic of the NFL's Week 1 Monday Night doubleheader?

rob said...

frank esposito, humble greenskeeper.

Jerry said...

We're all classy and respectable.

Tonight I'm going to sit at home with a fine scotch, read The Confusion by Neal Stevenson and listen to Schubert.

rob said...

in fairness, there was external pressure to increase the respectability ratio. though i quite enjoyed the entire line of banter.

Jerry said...

I know. I was just playing it cool.

rob said...

just like at tortuga's.

rob said...

tsk, tsk, john edwards.

Jerry said...

Big decision -- leave work now or wait for a meeting to end so i can eat their sandwiches....

TJ said...

Leave work...

Mark said...

Leave work!

Jerry said...

the thing is that i'm pretty hungry and don't have anything fun to do at home. i'm going to wait for a it.

TJ said...

Let us know how it goes - hopefully the selection won't be disappointing. And I'll be curious to know what the drink and cookie options were.

Jerry said...

It's so exciting. Maybe I should pull the fire alarm.

TJ said...

You don't want soggy sandwiches.

TJ said...

The Hawks match this offer, yes?

Atlanta Hawks restricted free agent Josh Smith has signed a five-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.

Jerry said...

A whole bunch of new people just showed up in the room. No chance they clear out in the next 10 minutes. No sandwiches.

Mark said...

Sorry Jerry...I'm pretty sure they places that serve these "sandwiches" up there in the big city though.

On another note. I'm thoroughly unimpressed with Josh Smith. He's one the top 2 or 3 athletes in the entire NBA but he has no real definable skill (Shotblicking, but thats not exactly the prime attribute you want out of a SF), is a bit of a tweener and shoots a ton of horrible shots. Oh yeah, he's known to be quite the malcontent as well.


In my opinion, whoever signs him to that deal will regret it soon.

rob said...

this opening ceremony is pretty damn impressive.

Jerry said...

Do you have an organized process for finding Olympic stuff you want to watch or are you just taking what they give you? I dislike the latter, although it's much easier.

rob said...

it's on 4 different channels (nbc, usa, cnbc, and msnbc), so i'm pretty much picking the best of the lot at any given time.

Jerry said...

I tivoed the overnight session and am watching a badminton war between Ireland and Germany.

TJ said...

There was some rousing women's handball on when I woke up.

Zoltan said...

What the hell is flatwater?

rob said...

russia/korea women's team handball - barnburner!

TJ said...

Mark, I forgot to ask this earlier, but were you shitface cockmaster when you typed that Josh Smith comment?

Zoltan said...

Bernie Mac died?

TJ said...

I don't know whether to laugh or throw a soda at the guy wearing the Canseco Texas Rangers jersey right now at Camden Yards.

TJ said...

Drew, I think Terry Benedict finally got to him.

TJ said...

Vincente Padilla might be the worst 12-5 pitcher I've ever seen.

rob said...

altidore!

rob said...

oh, that's a dagger ending for the us against the netherlands. dutch tie the game on a free kick with 30 seconds left in injury time, and michael bradley had taken an intentional yellow to delay the game, so he misses the next one. as does freddy adu.