In Memoriam: Olympic Tandem Match Sprint

In Memoriam: Olympic Tandem Match Sprint

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The Olympic track racing fires off tomorrow and it’s time to remember an event discarded to the bin of noble sports.

The Olympic roster of events is constantly evolving and devolving which is why we are now watching synchronized diving as an Olympic sport. What a world, what a world. Maybe it’s a sign of me getting too old but it makes me sick. Who does this sport? Who says let’s go down to the public pool and work on our synchronized diving? No one, that’s who. Did the IOC get bribed by Big Diving? Diving is barely watchable, adding another diver who does the exact same thing adds little. Yes, I’m biased, yes, I don’t understand it. Send your hate mail to Condoleezza Rice, c/o Stanford University, I don’t want it.

Years ago Olympic road cycling cancelled the 100km four-man team time trial and I’m still bitter about that! The four-man TT was a killer event. The time was on the third rider to cross the finish line. A four person team could barely afford to lose one rider. One flat, a bonk, do we wait, do we go? This had to be decided on the road by the team while riding on the razor’s edge of anaerobic doom.

Olympic track lost the tandem match sprint. Track is also losing the individual pursuit events this year for reasons I can’t imagine. Thank you, UCI. The tandem sprint was no flash in the pan event, introduced into the Olympics in 1908. It was finally terminated after the 1972 games. God damn it, what’s not to love? We keep thinking Cav is the fastest cyclist but track sprinters are faster. Imagine two super fast riders on one bike racing another matched pair. One pair of legs does the driving, one pair just to stoke. The stoker could also be the second pair of eyes for the driver but really his mission was to plant his face against the small of the driver’s back and spin that bike up to over 85 kph! The tactics were the same as the regular match sprint. There were track stands, jumps and bumps: it was just faster and more awesome.

I don’t know the reasoning behind the decision in 1972 but I’m here to say things were a little weird back then, many bad decisions went down in the early ’70s. The Bee Gees made it to number sixteen in the American music charts and they were not terminated with extreme prejudice right then, before it was too late.

Here is some footage of a past World Championship just to demonstrate the awesome.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS3BLySqep8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

// General // In Memoriam

  1. Venezuela totally has the best track kit.

  2. @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    You’re in Australia ? Surely they are showing the cycling – more hope of a medal there than trampolining.

    Although I see we are now behind New Zealand in the medal table so perhaps they’re just pretending the whole thing isn’t happening.

    Deputy heads will roll…

  3. Yeah, give that some thought. How many people have been on a pommel horse, or jumped on a trampoline? Or swung a (fucking) golf club, or tried to jump off a ledge into pool in the exact same time as someone else? But I’d be willing to bet that a large proportion of the 6 billion people on earth know a bike when they see it. And sure, run, jump swim or even soccer too. Archery, javelin, hammer throw, swords, guns – you bet: all good for war, all stuff we *really* compete at. And after the closing ceremonies, the North Koreans will be invited to the palace by Kim Jong Un to meet his new bride and be executed.

  4. @frank

    @Harminator

    Great photos. I used to paddle C1 a lot, that is until I moved to Alaska and started paddling big, pushy rivers and my ass was handed to me on a regular basis. Watching my mates make it down shit with relative ease in kayaks as I was executing roll after roll and trying to breathe was exhausting. That’s when my ex-wife’s kayak started to look more appealing so I made the leap to the dark side. C1 is so cool because you can’t fake or muscle your way through shit. You absolutely have to know how to read water, work with the current and moreover be really consistent and dedicated or your skills fade quickly. It’s such a beautiful sport. I still paddle K1 and OC1/OC2 but haven’t been in a C1 in years. It is also my firm belief that the coolest, most elegant way of travel ever devised is the open canoe.

  5. @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    NBC Sports, for as much as I hate them for pushing out Universal Sports, are doing a great job with their online/iPad offerings – which are FREE, no less. High def footage of any event, including cycling. On demand or live. The only catch is it is either the shit global universal know-nothing commentators, or its just the feed with no commentary at all.

    And, with Mountain Lion, you can mirror your computer’s screen on your TV wirelessly, so you can just pipe it over to the TV and still watch it on the big screen. Wicked cool.

  6. @frank

    @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    NBC Sports, for as much as I hate them for pushing out Universal Sports, are doing a great job with their online/iPad offerings – which are FREE, no less. High def footage of any event, including cycling. On demand or live. The only catch is it is either the shit global universal know-nothing commentators, or its just the feed with no commentary at all.

    And, with Mountain Lion, you can mirror your computer’s screen on your TV wirelessly, so you can just pipe it over to the TV and still watch it on the big screen. Wicked cool.

    You sure about that free part? You don’t have to have a cable subscription that supports a login/ID? IOW, if you don’t have a cable TV package, or one with the right level of service (read: they make enough money off you) I don;t think you get their online access or iPad/online offerings.

  7. @eightzero

    @frank

    @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    NBC Sports, for as much as I hate them for pushing out Universal Sports, are doing a great job with their online/iPad offerings – which are FREE, no less. High def footage of any event, including cycling. On demand or live. The only catch is it is either the shit global universal know-nothing commentators, or its just the feed with no commentary at all.

    And, with Mountain Lion, you can mirror your computer’s screen on your TV wirelessly, so you can just pipe it over to the TV and still watch it on the big screen. Wicked cool.

    You sure about that free part? You don’t have to have a cable subscription that supports a login/ID? IOW, if you don’t have a cable TV package, or one with the right level of service (read: they make enough money off you) I don;t think you get their online access or iPad/online offerings.

    I don’t work for NBC or Comcast, but I don’t have to sign in or anything like that. A box comes up asking who has my service, but I don’t log in. Could be come wizardry going on with matching IP addresses to Comcast, I suppose, but its free as far as I’m concerned.

  8. @frank

    @eightzero

    @frank

    @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    NBC Sports, for as much as I hate them for pushing out Universal Sports, are doing a great job with their online/iPad offerings – which are FREE, no less. High def footage of any event, including cycling. On demand or live. The only catch is it is either the shit global universal know-nothing commentators, or its just the feed with no commentary at all.

    And, with Mountain Lion, you can mirror your computer’s screen on your TV wirelessly, so you can just pipe it over to the TV and still watch it on the big screen. Wicked cool.

    You sure about that free part? You don’t have to have a cable subscription that supports a login/ID? IOW, if you don’t have a cable TV package, or one with the right level of service (read: they make enough money off you) I don;t think you get their online access or iPad/online offerings.

    I don’t work for NBC or Comcast, but I don’t have to sign in or anything like that. A box comes up asking who has my service, but I don’t log in. Could be come wizardry going on with matching IP addresses to Comcast, I suppose, but its free as far as I’m concerned.

    It is indeed confirming you are on a provider that also carries NBC in some form or another. Its pretty good about hiding that from you.  Its pretty much everyone who has the internets as Comcast, ATT, and Verizon all offer NBC via traditional broadcast of some sort.  It almost makes up for the Universal Sports disaster at Comcast.  Just watched Pendelton, well I’ll stop there for anyone hoping to catch it on broadcast.

    I must say though that “free” on demand coverage of everything is a welcome preview of the future that should have been here 10 years ago, but I’m sure NBC will find a way to ruin it.

  9. Neat little feature I spotted on the NYT today, giving an overview of a match sprint, including some POV video. Nice to see it get front-page coverage.

  10. @frank

    @eightzero

    @frank

    @Mikael Liddy

    SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?

    Sorry for shouting, but I’ve come home thinking I might see some track cycling and I’m greeted with blokes bouncing on a fucking trampoline for an olympic gold! Not to go all “Daily Mail” on everyone, but how in Merckx’s name is this an Olympic sport?

    NBC Sports, for as much as I hate them for pushing out Universal Sports, are doing a great job with their online/iPad offerings – which are FREE, no less. High def footage of any event, including cycling. On demand or live. The only catch is it is either the shit global universal know-nothing commentators, or its just the feed with no commentary at all.

    And, with Mountain Lion, you can mirror your computer’s screen on your TV wirelessly, so you can just pipe it over to the TV and still watch it on the big screen. Wicked cool.

    You sure about that free part? You don’t have to have a cable subscription that supports a login/ID? IOW, if you don’t have a cable TV package, or one with the right level of service (read: they make enough money off you) I don;t think you get their online access or iPad/online offerings.

    I don’t work for NBC or Comcast, but I don’t have to sign in or anything like that. A box comes up asking who has my service, but I don’t log in. Could be come wizardry going on with matching IP addresses to Comcast, I suppose, but its free as far as I’m concerned.

    Yep, when you confirm the provider, it looks to see what “package” you are on. If you don’t buy enough cable channels from them, you don’t get the streaming. At all.

     

  11. @mcsqueak nice! Thanks for sharing that. It’s really cool to see in a major paper, but also dope to see a primer for the uniniated.

  12. @frank this was what was being broadcast on Channel 9, which is the free to air broadcaster out here. They’ve actually caught a hell of a lot of heat out here for their horrible broadcast that included switching to an ad break seconds after the start of Anna Meares’ keiren heat before switching back to an interview with Prince William & Prince Harry…

  13. I know it is childish to find names amusing but… Paul Van Ass the Dutch hockey coach.

    Even the Dutch must find that amusing, given the number who speak English.

  14. Apparently Sky not only sponsor a cycling team but also have some involvement with television

  15. Wow, Kenny takes Bauge in straight sprints – I thought Bauge would win, or at least make it to three.

    But he just didn’t have it to run Kenny close – he was always in control.

    BTW I showed my Velomissus that photo of Forstemann next to Greipel – she nearly threw up.

  16. The Omnium is worth it just for the elimination race… I do like a Devil.

    Although I still wouldn’t have it in at the expense of the individual pursuit and kilo TT.

  17. I know this is a touch misguided, but…

    to the Australian Swimming team, and also the mens coxless four:

    Please sit down and watch the post race interviews of Anna Meares. (Watch her races as well). She got smoked in the Kieren, third in the team sprint (fucking stupid Wanker C**t officials are going to get this event cut as well if they keep on interfering with the results) and gold in the Sprint. What you’ll notice is a bit of humility, a lack of entitlement to success and an acceptance that these are sporting events, which was completely absent from the swim team.

    To be fair to the men’s boat, Drew Ginn was gracious about his medal. His younger crewmates could only whinge about how their race plan didn’t work out (don’t get beaten by a faster boat – it’s a race in a straight line ffs).

    Totally crushing on Meares right now (nothing new there)  and very happy to see her get gold in the sprint.

  18. @minion If Anna Mears was a country she’d be further up the medal table than the Aussies…

    Seriously, some of those athletes do talk some shit. There was some American girl talking about her heat in the post race interview this evening “It was really go to finally feel that my training allowed me to run to a proper race plan” or some such twaddle. It was the 200m. You start over there, run round the corner and finish just there. As fast as you possibly can. There’s no plan FFS!

  19. Yep. I’m all for an amateur olympics where these competitors have a job, perspective on life and a bit of personality.

    Anyone else see Bague and Kenny’s post race press conference, where Bague hijacked it to grill Kenny about training tips for the next Olympics? Classic.

  20. I’m putting this here since it involves an Olympic track cyclist… did anyone catch the story of Gijs Van Hoecke from Belgium?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1290450-pics-of-very-drunk-version-of-olympic-belgian-cyclist-gijs-van-hoecke

    The next time you get ridiculously, pant pissingly, team embarrasingly drunk you can say you “Got totally Van Hoecked”…

    I guess that’s what he gets for slamming drinks when he only weighs 135 lbs.

  21. @Chris

    @minion If Anna Mears was a country she’d be further up the medal table than the Aussies…

    @Chris If Scotland was a country, oh, actually it is. Oh well, if Scotland wasnt considered to be part of an Olympic conglomeration of countries… it would be further up the medal table than Australia. And so would England. And probably Wales, the Channel Islands and the fucking Falklands.

  22. Hey Marcus. Just wondering.

    What’s the capital of the United Kingdom?

  23. Benidorm.

  24. @LA Dave Awww, he looks so happy…

  25. of course there still is track tandem- it’s just that the guy at the back is too blind to steer, and they run it at the paralympics. Where it was a GBR 1-2. As is only right.

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