Then & Now: Cycling at the Games
From moustachioed men on rudimentary road bikes to Lycra-clad athletes on space age machines, cycling has come a long way at the Olympic Games, as we can see in this gallery
Skin-tight Lycra, aerodynamic helmets and ultra-light carbon fibre bikes were unheard of in the days of Paul Masson (right), winner of three gold medals at the Olympic Games Athens 1896.
Instead, suits, ties and top hats were commonplace – both in the crowd and on the cycling track itself – as seen here at the White City Stadium during the Olympic Games London 1908.
Two’s company: the tandem bicycle used to feature regularly at the Olympic Games, before the event was eventually phased out in 1972.
The helmets worn at the Olympic Games Berlin 1936 offered little protection compared to the sleek and sturdy headwear donned by the cyclists of today.
While wearing a helmet is now compulsory, cyclists at the Olympic Games Rome 1960 could get away with a simple cap to shield their heads from the sun.
By the time of the Olympic Games Moscow 1980, the Lycra revolution was already in full swing – making the cyclist faster than ever before.
The Swiss time trial team at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 used bikes fitted with disc wheels, designed to make them more aerodynamic.
The recent Olympic Games Rio 2016 proved just how much elite cycling had advanced – in both a sporting and a scientific sense – since its first appearance 120 years previously.