Cyclist Mark Cavendish won a coveted silver medal in the omnium last night, which everyone was very excited about… except they weren’t quite sure how he did it.
The discipline, which sees competitors take part in various races in the velodrome, culminated in the 160-lap points race, which is arguably the most confusing of them all. This event sees all the riders take to the track with various aims. One is to try and lap the whole pack to earn 20 points, while the other is to race in sprint laps every ten laps, which – depending on where you cross the line – also earns you points. Then there’s the whole ‘trying not to get bashed off your bike by another rider’ thing (Cavendish himself was involved in a scuffle, although managed to stay upright) to add to the drama of the whole thing.
Basically, as Wikipedia quite neatly puts it, “this race can be one of the more confusing races to watch for less familiar viewers”.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling was among those scratching their heads…
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 15, 2016
Some felt that medals should be given out just for understanding the rules.
— nice vans (@nicevans799) August 16, 2016
There were some theories:
Did they make up all these cycling races up over a few beers? Or just decades of parents trying to keep children entertained? #pointsrace
— Philippa Hann (@PhilippaHann) August 15, 2016
Elsewhere the channel changes were causing more problems than the rules of the points race.
— Hannah Seal (@blossomgirl79) August 15, 2016
More info was required…
— Rachel (@rachg_84) August 15, 2016
And there were some timing issues.
— Pauline Bull (@Pmcd14) August 15, 2016
In summary, it was all “brilliantly manic”:
— Joniesta (@iamthejlaw) August 15, 2016
… and there was a medal at the end!
Cavendish gets Silver!! Hurrah! #Rio2106
— ????????Luna 'Tiny Witch' Pixie⚓???? (@RedLunaPixie) August 15, 2016