Olympics’ Day One – Paul Day

August 6th, 2016 | Marten Julian's Guest Contributor News

Today sees the start of the Rio Olympic, the 31st Olympic Summer Games.

The Cycling Men’s Road Race is probably the highlight this afternoon. It takes place over a tough course, with multiple hard climbs to be endured before the medals are awarded. Although I follow the main tours, I would not profess to be an expert and consulted a friend of mine who specialises in cycling.

His view was that it was an open race but when forced he gave me Poels, Mollema and Van Avermaet. Unfortunately Poels was tipped in the Racing Post this morning and is now slightly shorter at around 19 on Betfair, with Mollema and Van Avermaet trading at around 40.

Poels was strong in the Tour de France. He was Froome’s main lieutenant in the mountain stages and showed admirable strength to set the pace and lead the peleton on many tough mountain stages. Today may be his day in the spotlight. Mollema won cycling’s classic San Sebastien race and Van Avermaet won a stage in the Tour and are both reasonable selections.

This course won’t suit the sprinter types, I can’t see the Norwegian Eduard Boossen Hagen contending. The feeling is it’s unlikely Tom Dumoulin, the rising star of Dutch cycling, will use up too much energy today. His season was based around the Olympic Road Time Trial and unfortunately after winning the first time trial in the Tour de France he fell and broke his wrist. He is in a race against time to be ready for the Time Trial on Wednesday. The latest news is that the Dutch are hopeful he will be able to give his best on Wednesday, but don’t expect too much today.

The time trial course has plenty of uphill sections and favours the slightly built Froome but I fancy Dumoulin will give him a serious race on Wednesday.

The Women’s Road Race comes tomorrow and there is confidence behind Anna Van der Breggen – she is the favourite and trades at 5.2 / 5.7 on Betfair at the time of writing. The Dutch are hopeful she can win both the Road Race and the Time Trial.

Action in the pool starts today. Our best chance of gold, Adam Peaty in the 100m Breaststroke, starts his campaign early this evening with his heat, with semi-finals later, overnight our time. I always like to see the heats and the semi-finals before making my bets.

The best information comes from the earlier rounds.

In sports like swimming and athletics, form at the Games is far more important than pre-Games form. I’ll watch the rounds before making a final judgement before the final tomorrow.

James Guy goes in the 400m Freestyle. His heat starts late this afternoon with his final overnight. He has an outside chance although I think a bronze medal would be an excellent achievement.

The likeable Hannah Miley goes in the 400m Individual Medley. I would love to see her do well and a medal would be an amazing achievement. The formidable Hungarian, Katinka Hosszu, is the outstanding favourite to win gold.

I hope to keep providing some updates as the Games progress. We have an incredible 16 days of top class sport in front of us – enjoy it all.