NewsWire: Tweets kill Olympic road race data, Batman shooting derails cross-country tour

Twitter posts clog data networks for the road race timing system in London; British trackies debut hot pants; Transcontinental cycle tour ends with Batman theater shooting

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In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.

Over-Tweeting blocks Olympic road race timing data — The Register

An unexpectedly-high volume of Twitter use led to the failure of on-screen timing and positioning data during the weekend’s Olympic road races, according to a report in British newspaper The Register.

The Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS), which provided the on-screen graphics for television networks, originally placed the blame with The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), which was responsible for obtaining timing and position data for the races. However the fault was finally traced back to the data networks themselves.

Live timing data at the events relied on the same cellular data networks used by the thousands of roadside spectators, and GPS units mounted on riders’ bikes could not compete with thousands of simultaneously-tweeting mobile phones, the report said.

A spokesperson with O2, the network provider for both cellular data and the weekend’s live-timing transmissions, told The Register that, “There was a capacity issue with Box Hill at the weekend. You can imagine that all of the people around that area were frantically using their phones so that was the reason for the oversubscription.”

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British track cyclists debut hot pants for pre-race warm-up — The Sydney Morning Herald

For years, Formula 1 teams have used heated wheel covers to keep their cars’ tires warm before the critical opening laps of a race, when traction is most critical. This week, the British track cycling team will do the same before all of their Olympic events, according to Australia’s The Sydney Morning Herald.

For the past 18 months, British Cycling has put the so-called “hot pants” through their paces in preparation for their Olympic debut. Sprint and pursuit events depend on short-term speed and power right from the start, which demands athletes arrive on the line with their leg muscles fully warmed-up. The “hot pants” are intended to bridge the gap between the athletes’ pre-race warm-up on rollers and the start of their events, a time during which leg muscles lose a few critical degrees.

The pants warm the legs to 38 degrees Celsius, and can be quickly removed in the seconds before a race, according to the story.

Esme Taylor, a physiologist with British Cycling, told The Sydney Morning Herald, “I think this will become a part of track cycling. Especially after seeing how athletes have taken to wearing them. They see these as part of their warm-up now … and for us that shows how good they are.”

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Aurora cinema shooting ends students’ cross-country cycling trip — The Washington Post

A summer cycling trip was cut short when James Holmes allegedly opened fire on the audience of “The Dark Night Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, according to a blog on the website of The Washington Post.

Stephen Barton, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, and Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent, a current student at Yale University, had stopped off to see the July 20 screening of the film during their cycling trip across the United States, according to the blog post.

The blog published a set of the duo’s Twitter updates from last Wednesday, documenting their trip. The tweets and Instagram photos bring their six-day journey to life, 140 characters at a time.

The updates end with an image of their movie tickets and a pre-movie tweet by Barton: “#cycletrip goes to the movies @ Century Aurora 16”

Barton was shot in his face and neck, but both men survived.

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McQuaid: Gold medalist Vino, Valverde deserved to be in London —

UCI president, Pat McQuaid, told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad that he supports the right of Alexander Vinokourov and others that have served doping bans to compete — and even win — in the Olympics.

Vinokourov and Alejandro Valverde, of Kazakhstan and Spain, respectively, are two of the most recent and most prominent riders to return from doping bans; both took the start in Saturday’s Olympic road race. Vinokourov went on to win from a two-up sprint against Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran, bringing Kazakhstan an opening-day gold medal in the process.

McQuaid expressed support for Vinokourov’s win, saying, “I’m not disappointed that he won.

“If they have served their sentence, then their participation is warranted.”

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