Every four years we have our cycling calendars flare up with the exciting addition of the Olympic games.
With Rio de Janeiro playing host for the 2016 Games, we're all too excited to stay up late and get up early to watch our nation's best cyclists, compete for the coveted gold medal.
The opening ceremony kicks off Friday August 5th with a local time of 20:00, however the time differences means we'll be tuning in from midnight into the early hours of Saturday August 6th. Coverage of the Games can be found on BBC 1 and BBC 2 throughout the event.
With so much change in the performance of women's cycling, we're expecting to see a nail-biting feats of strength on both the road and track. Four years ago, our own Lizzie Armitstead was just squeezed out of a win by reigning Olympic champion Marianne Vos, but with Lizzie's determination and Vos' recent return from injury, it's anyone's guess how the battle of these two will end.
The Road Events
The women’s road race takes part in two circuits with cobbles, steep climbs and a flat finale.
The race is 141km in length, and includes two circuits of the Grumari Natural Park, which features a 2km cobbled sector and two climbs.
Grumari comes first – a steep 1.2km ascent with a 7% average gradient and pitches a steep as 13%.
The tree-lined climb is very narrow, meaning the fight for position on the flatter opening section of the race should be intense.
The second climb is 2.1km long with an average gradient of 4.5%, and both – alongside the cobbles – are to be tackled twice.
The women then take on one ascent of the Vista Chinesa climb – a two-stage climb which pitches up sharply at the start, before a small descent and then another slightly less steep climb to the summit.
The total length is 8.9km and the average gradient between five and six per cent, but that is skewed by the descent part way up the climb.
Finally, a technical 6km descent and a long, flat run-in back to Copacabana Beach completes the Rio 2016 women’s road race.
Who to Watch
As we've already mentioned the favourites to look out for include Lizzie Armitstead (GBR) and Marianne Vos (NED), but let's not forget Megan Guarnier (USA) who is currently leading the women's world tour with an outstanding 886 points.
Keep your eye on the following teams:
USA team for Rio 2016 women’s road race: Evelyn Stevens, Megan Guarnier, Mara Abbott and Kristin Armstrong
Great Britain team for Rio 2016 women’s road race: Lizzie Armitstead, Nikki Harris and Emma Pooley
Italy team for Rio 2016 women’s road race: Elisa Longo Borghini, Georgia Bronzini , Tatiana Guderzo and Elena Cecchini
Netherlands team for Rio 2016 women’s road race: Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten
August 6: Men’s road race (237.5km)
August 7: Women’s road race (136.9km)
August 10: Men’s time trial (54.56km)
August 10: Women’s time trial (29.86km)
The Track Events
Perhaps one of Britain's stronger disciplines on the Olympics has always been on the velodrome track.
This year, there will be a total of 1o events - 5 each for men and women. Although track star Victoria Pendleton has retired since the London 2012 games, we have Laura Trott in action to defend her gold medal. Other women taking part in the track events are: Rebecca James, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker, Katy Marchant, Katie Archibald and Ciara Horne.
The team for GB to look out for are the usual suspects, the Australians who nip at our wheels at each Olympic event.
16:19-17:10 (20:19-21:10) Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
16:00-16:14 (20:00-20:14) Women’s Team Sprint Qualifying
17:17-17:28 (21:17-21:28) Women’s Team Sprint First Round
18:00-18:08 (22:00-22:08) Women’s Team Sprint Finals
18:50-19:00 (22:50-23:00) Women’s Team Sprint Victory Ceremony
AUGUST 13 - Session 1
10:00-10:21 (14:00-14:21) Women’s Keirin First Round
10:44-11:05 (14:44-15:05) Women’s Keirin First Round Repechages
11:17-11:40 (15:17-15:40) Women’s Team Pursuit First Round
16:22-16:34 (20:22-20:34) Women’s Keirin Second Round
16:53-17:21 (20:53-21:21) Women’s Team Pursuit Finals
17:27-17:33 (21:27-21:33) Women’s Keirin Finals 7-12
17:33-17:39 (21:33-21:39) Women’s Keirin Finals 1-6
17:49-17:59 (21:49-21:59) Women’s Team Pursuit Victory Ceremony
18:07-18:17 (22:07-22:17) Women’s Keirin Victory Ceremony
16:00-16:38 (20:00-20:38) Women’s Sprint Qualifying
17:12-17:40 (21:12-21:40) Women’s Sprint 1/16 Finals
18:51-19:29 (22:51-23:29) Women’s Sprint 1/16 Final Repechages
AUGUST 15 - Session 1
10:00-10:19 (14:00-14:19) Women’s Sprint 1/8 Finals
10:50-10:57 (14:50-14:57) Women’s Sprint 1/8 Final Repechages
10:59-11:17 (14:59-15:17) Women’s Omnium 10km Scratch Race
16:26-16:30 (20:26-20:30) Women’s Sprint Race for 9th-12th Places
16:30-17:20 (20:30-21:20) Women’s Omnium 3km Individual Pursuit
18:17-18:35 (22:17-22:35) Women’s Omnium Elimination Race
AUGUST 16 -Session 1
10:00-10:16 (14:00-14:16) Women’s Sprint Quarterfinals – Race 1
10:41-10:57 (14:41-14:57) Women’s Sprint Quarterfinals -Race 2
10:57-11:19 (14:57-15:19) Women’s Omnium 500m Time Trial
11:19-11:23 (15:19-15:23) Women’s Sprint Quarterfinals – Race 3
11:46-11:50 (15:46-15:50) Women’s Sprint Race for 5th-8th Places
16:00-16:08 (20:00-20:08) Women’s Sprint Semifinals – Race 1
16:10-16:36 (20:10-20:36) Women’s Omnium Flying Lap
16:36-16:44 (20:36-20:44) Women’s Sprint Semifinals – Race 2
16:58-17:02 (20:58-21:02) Women’s Sprint Semifinals – Race 3
17:05-17:42 (21:05-21:42) Women’s Omnium 25km Points Race
17:44-17:52 (21:44-21:52) Women’s Sprint Finals – Race 1
17:52-18:02 (21:52-22:02) Women’s Omnium Victory Ceremony
18:04-18:12 (22:04-22:12) Women’s Sprint Finals – Race 2
18:26-18:30 (22:26-22:30) Women’s Sprint Finals – Race 3
18:40-18:50 (22:40-22:50) Women’s Sprint Victory Ceremony
Although we do have two Brits competing in the BMX event, both of which are male. However, adrenaline fast paced fun isn't to be missed, regardless of gender. So get tuned in for the BMX events on:
August 17: BMX men’s and women’s seeding runs
August 18: BMX men’s quarter finals
August 19: BMX men’s and women’s finals
Another miss for women's cycling is in the mountain bike cross-country event. Great Britain has one male in the running, Grant Ferguson, but sadly no women.
August 20: Women’s mountain bike cross-country
August 21: Men’s mountain bike cross-country
Don't forget to set your alarms, mark your diaries and support your nation for the Rio 2016 Games. Be sure to follow the athletes on their Twitter and Instagram accounts for live updates too.