The current Olympic program includes a road race and an individual time trial for men and women. All are one-day events. The road race is a mass start, with the men’s event usually covering 250-280km (241.5km at Rio 2016) and the women’s event covering 120-140km (141km at Rio 2016) in the race to be first to the finish line. In the individual time trial, riders set off one at a time at set intervals and are timed against the clock to see who can be the fastest over the 40-50km (54.5km at Rio 2016) for men and the 20-30km (29.8km at Rio 2016) for women.

Photo: La Presse Canadienne

Canada’s Olympic History (Pre-Rio 2016)

Despite road cycling having been on the Olympic program since the first modern Games at Athens 1896, Canada’s first medal was not won until Los Angeles 1984 when Steve Bauer captured silver in the men’s road race, just getting beaten in the final sprint for gold. Clara Hughes added a pair of bronze medals at Atlanta 1996. By finishing third in both the road race and the individual time trial, she set herself up to become the first athlete to win multiple medals at both the summer and winter Olympic Games when she would later compete in speed skating.