32¢ Men’s Cycling
1996 Summer Olympics
Issue Date: May 2, 1996
City: Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Men compete in seven cycling competitions at the Olympics, and women in three. While some races, such as the individual time trials, are purely contests of speed, other types of cycling races involve strategy. For example, in team time trials cyclists ride in a line, taking turns blocking the wind.
In the 1000-meter sprint (scratch) race, only the last 200 meters are timed. For the first 800 meters the cyclists jockey for position, trying not to take the lead, so as to take advantage of the other’s slipstream. Sometimes cyclists actually stand still while attempting to outmaneuver each other. For pursuit races, cyclists start at opposite sides of the track. If a cyclist, or team of cyclists, is able to pass the other, the race is over. Otherwise, the winner is the first to reach the finish line. For the 50-kilometer points race, points are awarded for sprints held every five laps. Double points are also awarded for a 75-lap sprint, and a final sprint. A cyclist’s endurance – as well as team strategy – is tested in the road race. Actually, road race distances vary from about 175 to 190 kilometers long.
Track races are held on oval tracks called velodromes. The track, made of wood and sharply banked inward, may be located indoors or outside.