Danish cycling band, results, schedule, escape from UCI rules
Something may be rotten in the state of Denmark.
A storm is brewing at the Tokyo Olympics velodrome after a team was spotted using a questionable prop during an Olympic record performance.
The Danish team’s use of a kinesiology tape on all four runners in the men’s team pursuit on Monday night raised eyebrows with questions from around the world being asked about the tape’s benefits for wind resistance and aerodynamics.
Suspicions have been raised publicly, but the gray area of the new rules introduced by cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, in 2019 suggests that the team’s use of the ribbon is within the rules.
But it may not be in the spirit of the sport with the sight of an entire team all suffering from the same injury beyond all suspicion.
The use of the tape is in the rules while being used for medical reasons, but it is a loophole that opens the door to different interpretations.
But the event was reportedly shaken up overnight with teams demanding that world champions and world record holders be disqualified for the drama.
Channel 7’s Matt Carmichael even reported that there were rumors circulating that the team had been disqualified and were protesting.
“We had heard that the Danish team would be disqualified for riding with the duct tape on their shins,” Carmichael said. “We told them not to ride, but they rode with it anyway. “
British media are reporting that British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park has revealed that he believes Denmark should be disqualified for the band on their shins and undershirts they wore with several teams launching protests on the overnight.
Carmichael however revealed that Australian performance director Simon Jones had said “the Danes would be allowed to ride”.
The team’s calculated strip tests with a Formula 1 aerodynamics expert were also revealed after the heats.
Denmark qualified for the medal round as the fastest team with an Olympic record of 3: 45.014.
Ex-Olympian Chris Broadman was among the commentators to question the team’s tactics.
A professional cyclist, Lizzy Banks shrugged off the controversy, before backflipping and suggesting that Denmark would have “tested” the strip to see if it gave an advantage.
“I don’t think it breaks the rules if you read the full rules as it doesn’t change the rider’s build and the band doesn’t have a profile change of more than 1mm,” she posted on Twitter.
“I am more than certain that Denmark will have checked three times that it complies with * current * rules.
“It would be interesting to know the difference that makes. I guess they tested and found it to be faster, but by how much?
“You’d think we’re talking tiny amounts, but then again, sometimes a race can be won by these tiny little details. Interesting.”
Cycling Weekly columnist and time trial expert Michael Hutchinson also tried to explain the advantage Denmark has taken.
In the world of cycling, however, reactions were mixed, with some complimenting the Danes for finding an advantage over their rivals in the gray area of the rules.
It has since been reported that aerodynamics expert Dan Bigham, who previously consulted Formula 1 teams as an aero advisor, worked with Danish cycling ahead of the Olympics.
According to Cyclingtips.com, the Danish team also used shoes and other accessories produced by Bigham’s workshop.
Meanwhile, Great Britain, New Zealand and Italy also advanced as the Aussie team finished fifth, struggling to recover after Alex Porter’s handlebars gave way.
Porter was unexpectedly thrown into the back of the quartet and skidded to the floor, leaving him with a crushed right arm and bruises on his face.
Australia and Porter got a restart but posted a disappointing 3: 48.448.
The men’s team pursuit finals are on Wednesday evening.