Denmark cyclists quizzed over Olympics 'coincidence'

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Denmark's men's team pursuit team courted controversy at the Tokyo Olympics after all wearing leg tape which rivals suggested gave them an aerodynamic advantage. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
Denmark's men's team pursuit team courted controversy at the Tokyo Olympics after all wearing leg tape which rivals suggested gave them an aerodynamic advantage. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Denmark's cycling team has had the legality of kinesiology tape used on each of their riders in the men's pursuit on Monday night called into question.

After setting the velodrome alight at the Tokyo Olympics by setting an astonishing world record in the qualifying round, the Danish squad's use of the tape was raised by competitors.

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Other teams questioned the legality of the tape, despite the Danish squad being cleared by Olympic officials ahead of Tuesday's finals.

Under the Union Cycliste Internationale's rules, last published in 2019, the use of such tape is legal in cases where an athlete is carrying an injury.

The sight of all four Danish rides, evidently sporting the same injury, was what raised the ire of rival teams.

Since Monday night's record, it has since emerged that multiple teams raised the use of the tape, with a potential disqualification on the cards which would have promoted Australia to a chance to ride for gold.

It would have been a lucky break for the Australians, who qualified fifth fastest after a freak accident in which Alex Porter's handlebars snapped clean off his bike and forced them into a gruelling restart.

It was not to be however, with Channel 7's Matt Carmichael reporting Denmark had been cleared, despite reportedly having been told not to allow all four riders to wear the tape.

“We had heard that the Danish team would be disqualified for riding with the tape on their shins,” Carmichael said. 

“They were told not to ride but they rode with it any way.”

Questions about the tape centred largely on whether the team would have gained an aerodynamic advantage by using it.

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Aussie cyclist's horror mishap at Tokyo Olympics

Porter was thankfully unhurt after he was sent clattering into the velodrome floor when his handlebars inexplicably separated from the rest of his bike.

Thankfully, the incident occurred during the qualifying round for the team pursuit event, enabling them to call for a restart after Porter thankfully fell from the rear of the team.

Incredibly, Porter was able to get up and have another crack at qualifying despite hitting the velodrome at more than 60 kilometres per hour.

Australian cyclist Alex Porter was left worse for wear after the handlebars on his bike inexplicably snapped during qualifying for the men's team pursuit. Pictures: Channel 7
Australian cyclist Alex Porter was left worse for wear after the handlebars on his bike inexplicably snapped during qualifying for the men's team pursuit. Pictures: Channel 7

Since the crash happened just after the one kilometre mark of the four kilometre race, the Australian team was put at a major disadvantage on their second go around.

Commentators pointed out how much energy goes into getting the team up to speed on the opening lap, with the Australian team having to complete the arduous task - and Porter looking slightly worse for wear to boot.

Porter suffered a torn skinsuit and was furious as he walked back to the Australian team pits at Izu Velodrome.

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Nevertheless, he was widely praised for his courage to get back on the bike and have another go so soon after the scary fall.

Australia eventually qualified in fifth place, in a time of 3:48.448 - narrowly missing a chance to earn a medal for their efforts.

Denmark and Italy both set new Olympic records as they qualified first and second respectively, with New Zealand and Great Britain also ahead of the Aussie team.

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