With record levels of spectators watching ridiculously-clad cyclists performing a variety of weird and wonderful so-called races, Olympic bosses are meeting regularly to discuss future ways of making track cycling even sillier.
From the ‘formation taking it in turns’ competition, which sees the race leader cycling up the banking and then joining in again at the back of the queue for no apparent reason, to the ‘dick about for a lap or two and then pedal like you're trying to set your lycra codpiece on fire’ contests, the popularity of watching outrageously daft Olympic cycling events has never been higher.
Although part of the attraction for the viewers is the hilarious garb that gullible cyclists have been persuaded to wear by unscrupulous aerodynamicists, it is the absurdity of the events themselves that has caught the public’s attention.
The highlight of the velodrome’s exhibition of preposterousness is currently the mysterious Keirin, in which cyclists follow a prospective cab driver doing ‘The Knowledge’ on a strange moped for several laps and then decide to go off on their own when he refuses to go south of the river. A more incongruous event is difficult to envisage but the Olympic experts are undaunted.
‘Our vision is to have a track cycling event that transfixes the entire world with its silliness’, explained a spokesman for the Olympic Cycling Committee. ‘Mind you,’ he admitted, ‘We’ll never be able to compete with dressage.’