The guys are in for the opening of a major can of whup-ass!Above is the profile of the 2004 Athens Olympics Course. In other words: A CAKE WALK!
OK- Some are saying that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Men's Road Race is going to make 2004 Athens look like a Cake Walk. See above- the dance not the course you silly people. Looks pretty easy, huh? Unfortunately, the 2004 Athens Olympics saw riders dropping like flies. 153 guys started the course in the searing heat and pollution of downtown Athens in August, 2004. Only 75 crossed the finish line. Holy Crap! Names like Levi Leipheimer, Oscar Freire, Sylvain Chavanel, Rasmussen, Cancellara, Menchov, Hushovd DIDN'T FINISH!
Now this is the profile for the 2008 Men's Road Race in Beijing. Looks like my heartbeat (only backwards- and flat-lining) if I even tried to WALK in downtown Beijing in August. The guys will be racing in one of the most polluted places in the world! Not to mention seriously hot.
This course is considered to be the most challenging in Olympic history! It starts out at Yongdingman Gate, then through downtown Beijing. The first 80k is flat- going through such warm and fuzzy tourist attractions as Tianamen Square. (Watch out for that tank- dudes!)
After they are finished with downtown Happy-ville (Beijing- Hey did you guys ever free Tibet yet?) The riders will enter the circuit section of the course. The guys will be required to complete not one, not two, but 7 laps, of a 24k circuit that climbs 520m per lap.
Bernard Kohl will be fine with his climbing skills, chimney sweep blackened lungs, and "swimming" style. He can swim through the pollution. The heat and humidity might get to him though. Today's temperature in downtown Beijing (Human Rights capital of the Free World) was 102 deg F or 39 deg C IN THE SHADE. It's said this course favors climbers, but with the heat- who knows?
Good luck boys! I really mean it! If you feel light-headed, pull over and take a breather, grab some Gu, and chill!
By the Way; Beijing is making some last ditch efforts to clean up the air around the venues. Unfortunately, the wind is predicted to change in the next week. Now it will be coming from areas where the factories are spewing foul emissions in full force!