Team_GB_Cycling

The Olympic Games start this evening with the opening ceremony, and then the action begins tomorrow with Cycling taking centre stage.

And if you ask me, the Cycling events will be one of the most exciting events at the Games, and with Team GB in full flow I will be watching with heightened anticipation of what they might achieve out in Rio.

There will be plenty of action, but the highlights for me will include the likes of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas leading Team GB, to what is hoped to be a win and a Gold medal.

Then the much talked about Lizzie Armitstead will ride on Sunday in the women’s road race, after what has been a difficult time after the missed test furore; but I believe her, wholeheartedly. The only problem now will be that win or lose, questions will be asked, and her reputation might be tarnished on what could be the biggest day of her sporting career.

Then we move onto the track cycling where GB are particularly strong and are expected to medal in most of the events. And with the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Becky James, we have good reason to be optimistic.

There’s no doubting that our cycling squad boasts some of the best riders the sport has seen; in Froome we have a three time Tour de France winner, in Wiggins we have a Tour winner, as well as a four time Olympic medallist. Cavendish recently went ahead of Bernard Hinault in the all-time Tour stage wins, so we have a team capable of producing special things. But we can’t be too over-confident, anything can happen.

In a way it certainly hasn’t been ideal preparation for GB, with all the stuff that has surrounded Armitstead, but also the Shane Sutton debacle that has still yet to reached a conclusion.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe the World Champion’s story, but I get all the attention this is getting because drugs in sport is so important. The only disappointing thing now, is that, win or lose the standard-bearer for women’s cycling will face tough questions on Sunday, whether she likes it or not.

The build-up to the men’s road race has been less dramatic from a British perspective, but with the squad of Froome, Thomas, Adam Yates, Steve Cummings, and Ian Stannard we have a superb chance of taking Gold on the day.

As we know the course is ‘savage’, as Froome put it yesterday, but with the full complement of riders GB have they should be able to look after attacks and then have enough firepower to go and get the job done.

Despite all the negative headlines about the doping controversy, and the state run doping program by Russia, the Olympics is the Olympics. And whatever people say, it will carry on regardless of dodgy nations, corruption, and drug cheats.

The action will hopefully disperse some of the negative headlines, and all we have to do is to cheer on our respective athletes and hope they bring home the Gold.

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Michael Stokoe is a second year Sport Journalism student studying at the University of Brighton, with aspirations of making a successful career in the world of Sport media. Michael is a lover of all sports, but his big passions are Cycling and Football. He also has a soft spot for other sports such Boxing and UFC – oh and by the way Michael is a huge reader, of anything sports and his collection of books is well over 50 now, a modest number but he´s getting there.