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Cyclists face unusual Rio circumstances

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016 Roger Vaughan

From paving to air conditioning to sticky boards - there's plenty of issues for cyclists to grapple with ahead of the Rio Olympics.

The velodrome was the last venue to be built after the original construction firm went bankrupt and the Games will be its competition debut.

After months of uncertainty, organisers have also paved over a section of cobbles on the road time trial course.

That has massive ramifications for the type of bikes used in the event.

The velodrome is an impressive venue, but its late completion has meant mixed comments about the wooden track.

German Roger Kluge said the wood feels sticky, but Australian men's track endurance coach Tim Decker has no problems.

"The actual track we're racing on is fantastic," Decker said.

"It's super-smooth, all the guys are happy with that."

Decker said one obvious feature since they started training at the velodrome had been the cool temperature.

Air conditioning at the venue means it has been around 20 degrees, not the 26-27 at most world championships.

Hotter conditions would mean faster times.

"It makes a bit of a difference," Decker said.

"Those sorts of things will change, I imagine, as we get a bit closer to competition."

Australian women's road coach Martin Barras said they had asked for months about whether the cobbled section on the road time trial course would be paved or left untouched.

He said they received confirmation about the paving about five hours before they flew out for the Games.

"We've been asking the question as a program probably once a month for the last seven or eight months, what the solution is going to be like," he said.

"We could never get an answer.

"It's a little bit disappointing, I'm not going to hide my feelings about it.

"We've put that behind us, but this being the Olympic Games, you'd expect you could get that information more than five hours before getting on the flight."

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