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?
25 July – Road Cycling – Women’s and Men’s Time Trial
1230-1400 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)
1500-1840 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)
For the road races and the mountain bike there were significant differences in commentary set-up between the international feed (on the 7plus app and the main 7 broadcast, which is the TV broadcast). If you click on the first link on the 7plus app it will be the Channel 7 broadcast with Phil Liggett, Anna Meares and Scott McGrory in commentary.
If you search deeper in the browser by sport then that will have the international feed with Rochelle Gilmore and a New Zealander in commentary.
The two streams have different break schedules, so often while one is in advertisments, the other is showing the race.
Who will be racing from Australia?
Sarah Gigante – 20 – Start time: 12.37:30 AEST
The 20-year-old pocket rocket is the dual time trial champion of Australia and forced her way into the squad with her weight of results despite having significantly less experience than some of her compatriots. Her focus has been almost entirely weighted towards the time trial since a nasty crash during Fleche Wallonne saw the vivacious youngster fracture her collarbone, elbow and fibula.
A top result wouldn’t be beyond her here if she came in with perfect preparation, which she clearly hasn’t had, the question is exactly how well she’s doing right now!
Grace Brown – 29 – Start time: 13.00:00 AEST
Brown has really excelled in recent years in the classics, the former runner from Camperdown only picked up the bike later in life, but she steadily progressed through the ranks to the professional circuit and looks like she’s not done improving yet!
Her fifth last year in the world championships should be a good indicator at what to expect on the Tokyo course, while a recent third at the Giro Rosa in a mountain time trial showed that Brown was on track with her immediate preparation. She then crashed out of the race, injuring her shoulder in a fall with fellow Aussie Amanda Spratt.
She’s been doing a lot of work on her shoulder rehabilitation since and said ahead of the Games that she can adopt her time trial position and transition from the base bars to the aero bars without difficulty now, something that had been causing her problems.
Certainly a medal chance on top form, but like much of the Australian team, there’s been significant disruption to her preparation, so hopefully she can showcase her top form.
Richie Porte – 36 – Start time: 15.57:30 AEST
Porte has been flying in time trials this year and the hilly nature of the course should lend itself nicely to the Tasmanian star. The Aussie has finished top-10 in time trials at the Volta Catalunya, Tour de Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de France.
After a comparitively down Tour de France from the heights of 2020 and not quite having to follow the best on Mikuni Pass in the road race, saying afterwards that it was ‘one of my hardest days on the bike’ and “It’s always nice to represent the country but when you have days like this, it’s not ideal. Hopefully I can recover for Wednesday’s time trial.”
Rohan Dennis – 31 – Start time: 17:04:00 AEST
Dennis opted to not participate in the road race, a decision that – given Porte’s comments – seems to be a good decision to optimise his chances of winning a medal.
The two-time world champion enjoyed a reign as the dominant rider in time-trialling, but has seen that status challenged in the past two years. The emergence of time trial stars such as Filippo Ganna (Italy) and Remco Evenepoel has seen the Australian kept of the winner’s podium more often than not since the start of 2020.
He made the comment in an INEOS Grenadiers video that wins were becoming harder to get and this Olympics will likely be the South Australian’s last really good chance at winning gold. Dennis was one of the favourites in Rio for gold and was right in the mix, but snapped one of his handlebar extensions during the race and finished out of the medals.
Dennis two world championship wins were based off long lay-offs from the racing scene and the 31-year-old has done a lot of preparation for this course, including scouting it out almost two years in advance with the Australian Cycling Team. He’s an expert at peaking for these sort of efforts, he’ll certainly deserves his status as one of the favourites for the win.
What’s up next?
29 July – BMX – Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals
1100-1300 (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)
By Jamie Finch-Penninger