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Olympic track cycling test event postponed AGAIN as velodrome construction lags behind

The race is on to get the Olympic venues completed in time for August's Games in Rio...

The Olympic track cycling test event in Rio has been postponed for a second time due to problems laying the wooden track in the velodrome.

Back in January we reported how organisers called off the Aquece Rio International Track Cycling Challenge, which was due to be the first competition staged in the Rio Olympic Velodrome, and was initially supposed to be held between March 18 and 20.

Three months ago this move already sparked fears the facilities will not be ready in time for the Olympic Games this summer.

At the time it was rescheduled for between April 29 and May 1, as the velodrome’s construction has lagged behind other works for the Games.

But organisers have now said that this event will not he held.

Mario Andrada, a spokesman for Rio 2016, told the Guardian he was sure the venue would be ready for the Olympics, which begin on the 5 August, with track cycling is scheduled for 11-16 August.

Andrada said the velodrome would be “fully ready” by 31 May, in time for a smaller training and testing event on 25-27 June.

Although the velodrome has proved the most complex project in Rio, with multiple delays and problems in construction, the remaining venues have progressed well.

Last year we reported how Olympic BMX hopefuls refused to ride a test event for the Rio 2016 Olympics, saying that the course was unsafe.

Liam Phillips, Britain's BMX Supercross double World Cup winner, was one of several riders to decide not to compete, saying that some of the jumps were too dangerous.

He wrote on instagram:  "We shouldn't have to 'race' on such sub-standard tracks."

Philips said: "Although I feel the sport took a step backwards with the riders refusing to ride, it was extremely necessary for the riders' safety.

"We, more than anyone else, want a platform to showcase the sport of BMX."

The course was designed by Tom Ritzenthaler, who designed the last two Olympic courses in Beijing and London.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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