It is just 2 more days until the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Olympics Committee planned the road race on the day after, on August 6th. Cycling fans and riders from all over the world have been looking forward to this Olympic race on the Brazilian roads. The riders are aiming to get that special Gold Medal for themselves and their national pride. Cycling has been an Olympic event since the first modern Olympics in Athens, 1896. Even then they had an official road race. The riders had to race from Athens to the city of Marathon and back. An 87 kilometer race, won by the Greek rider Aristidis Konstantinidis beating 6 other drivers to the finish. Road Racing however, was not part of the Olympics games until 1928 anymore. Track Racing has been part of the Olympics for all those years, however in a different fashion as we know it in more recent times. Start of the 1896 road race Back to 2016 and we are looking at a 237.5 kilometers long race featuring over 5,000 vertical meters. The first part of the race, which starts in Parc Flamengo, takes the 144 contestants across the coastal line to the first ‘circuit’ for around 40 km. The Grumari circuit is a 24,8 kilometer lap with two climbs of the fourth category which will be driven four times before heading off to the second and most challenging circuit. The first hill to climb in this circuit is the Grumari, a 1.2 kilometer climb featuring an average climb of 7%, maxing at 13%. Climb number two of the Grumari track is another fourth category climb, which is less steep as the first averaging at ‘only’ 4.5% spread out over 2.1 kilometers to reach the 164-meter-high top. Included in the lap is a 2 kilometers cobblestone section. This circuit will also be host of the Time Trial to be driven on Wednesday the 10th of August. Heightmap of the 2016 race The Second circuit is also known as the Chinesa circuit, is to be taken three times before heading to a flat final 15 kilometers and features two exciting first category climbs. In just 3.8 kilometers the riders will have to climb a staggering 340 meters, descent a little bit just to climb to 502 meters on top of the Vista Chinesa after 6.1 kilometers on the track. Real contenders for the Gold Medal are those who are masters of climbing and descending. Heightmap of the Vista Chinesa climb Favourites for this race are Nibali, Valverde and Froome. All three riders are capable of doing great uphills as well as the downhills. During the 2016 Tour de France, winner Froome has shown that he is capable of doing excellent downhills making him a real contender considering the three steep downhills they have to do at the end of the Chinesa. According to the bookmakers, you should not rule out drivers as Michal Kwiatkowski, the 2014 World Champion, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, Tim Wellens, who won the UCI World Tour race of Poland or Bauke Mollema, winner of the 2016 Clasica San Sebastian which according to the drivers looks a lot like the Olympic track. History shows that a break-away is most likely to happen, since the previous three Olympic winners won in a break-away! Who do you fancy for the victory? What do you reckon is the race going to look like?