The Olympics coverage in Australia is broadcast by Channel 7, they have an online hub for their live and catch-up coverage here called 7plus. They also have a mobile App: Android version here, and iOS version here.
It’s what many of the top cyclists in Australia have been preparing for over the course of the last five years, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With Olympic cycling events stretched across BMX, BMX freestyle, track, road race, time trial and mountain bike events, there’s a lot to keep across, with Australian athletes up for medals in most of the events on the schedule. The full Olympics cycling schedule with Australian times is here, it will be updated if there are any announced changes to the schedule.
Which event is on?
24 July – Road Cycling – Men’s Road Race
1200-1915 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)
Who will be racing from Australia?
Richie Porte – 36
The veteran Aussie went into the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the favourites fresh off some hot Tour de France form. He’s arguably in just as good shape this year, but his Tour de France was a down one by his standards as he opted not to seek out a high overall finish in the race.
His 2021 race results are stellar, he won the Criterium du Dauphine, and finished on the podium at the Tour de Romandie and the Volta Catalunya, all prestigious one-week races in Europe. Even at 36, Porte looks like Australia’s main medal chance.
However, he has never excelled at one-day races, with the longer courses and crucial positioning battles not suiting the Tasmanian over the years, with 16th at 2020 Liege-Bastogne-Liege his best finish at one of the one-day monuments of cycling.
Lucas Hamilton – 25
Hamilton was a late-call up to replace Cameron Meyer who withdrew from the squad due to the poor health of his father. The young rider from Ararat will go in with a lot of good climbing form behind him this year, even if he’s coming off a down Tour de France, where he struggled in the early stages, then crashed out of the race with a dislocated shoulder.
His form in the early part of the season was consistent, he was top 10 in every race he attended before a stomach bug kept him from completing the Tour de Suisse.
Like Porte, Hamilton’s best results are in stage races, with his ability in one-day races less proven at this stage of his career. He’ll be suited to these long climbs and could surprise some with his tactical nous and sprint to finish if he can arrive at the finish with the front group.
Luke Durbridge – 30
Durbridge was an even later call-up than Hamilton, drafted into the squad to replace Jack Haig after the Aussie climber fractured his collarbone during the Tour de France, with resulting complications in the surgery keeping him out of contention for the Tokyo Olympics.
Durbridge won’t get over the climbs with the leaders on this course, he’s more suited to flatter events, but the West Australian will be a key helper for Hamilton and Porte throughout the race.
Notable non-starters for the Australian team
Rohan Dennis – 31
The Australian two-time world champion in the time trial was slated to race the road race, but has pulled out to focus solely on the race against the clock. Australia’s fourth spot available for the road race will go unfilled.
Ben O’Connor – 25
The Australian star of the Tour de France was in the middle of a battle to finish as high as possible on the general classification at the French Grand Tour when he was offered a spot on the squad as a late replacement. He declined as he wanted to focus fully on the Tour de France, also saying that heading immediately from the Tour to the Olympics and spending time in quarantine was how he wanted to unwind from his acheivements at the Tour de France.
What’s up next?
25 July- Road Cycling – Women’s Road Race
1400-1835 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)