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A new world

Cycling Mountain Bike

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A sport for fans of adventure and adrenaline, mountain bike challenges competitors with steep climbs, fast descents and natural obstacles. Twenty years after its Olympic debut at Atlanta 1996, there are individual events for men and women in Rio.
Spectator's Guide - Cycling Mountain Bike
  • Cycling Mountain Bike

Countries

Athletes

Events

41 78 2

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Cycling Mountain Bike

Select the time zone:
Rio Time
My time zone
August21
Date Event Status
Sun 2112:30 Men's Cross-country
SUI
SCHURTER Nino
CZE
KULHAVY Jaroslav
ESP
COLOMA NICOLAS Carlos
Finished

About

About

Aim of the game

Competing over an off-road course, mountain bike riders must adapt quickly to the tough, varied terrain in order to cross the finish line ahead of their rivals

Why should you watch this?

A thrilling combination of speed, power, endurance, skill and tactics produces exciting races with close finishes – crashes and mechanical problems only add to the drama

International Federation

UCI

Olympic debut

Atlanta 1996

Rules
  • Singletrack

    Singletrack

    Narrow section of mountain bike trail needing skill and precision to ride at high speed

  • Rock Garden

    Rock Garden

    A mixture of rocks strategically placed in part of the course to make it technically demanding for riders

  • A 'mechanical'

    A 'mechanical'

    When a rider has a problem with their bike, for example a puncture or detached chain

Impress your friends

  • Mountain biking originated in California in the 1970s, when cyclists took old bikes out exploring the trails and tracks north of San Francisco

    Mountain biking originated in California in the 1970s, when cyclists took old bikes out exploring the trails and tracks north of San Francisco

  • In 1976 these riders created a race that demanded adaptations to existing bikes, and from there the modern mountain bike was born

    In 1976 these riders created a race that demanded adaptations to existing bikes, and from there the modern mountain bike was born

  • Bart Brentjens was knighted by the King of the Netherlands after winning the first mountain bike Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996 – arise Sir Bart, the Flying Dutchman!

    Bart Brentjens was knighted by the King of the Netherlands after winning the first mountain bike Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996 – arise Sir Bart, the Flying Dutchman!

  • France is the world leader in Olympic mountain bike racing, winning at least one medal at each Games

    France is the world leader in Olympic mountain bike racing, winning at least one medal at each Games

  • Germany's Sabine Spitz has the full set of medals from three successive Olympic Games: bronze at Athens 2004, gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012

    Germany's Sabine Spitz has the full set of medals from three successive Olympic Games: bronze at Athens 2004, gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012

  • A mountain bike circuit should not include more than 15% of flat terrain, demanding explosive force on uphill parts and speed and technical ability on the downhills

    A mountain bike circuit should not include more than 15% of flat terrain, demanding explosive force on uphill parts and speed and technical ability on the downhills

  • If something breaks on their bike, cyclists must fix it themselves or get to the 'Technical Assistance Zone' where their team mechanics can help

    If something breaks on their bike, cyclists must fix it themselves or get to the 'Technical Assistance Zone' where their team mechanics can help

Format

The multiple lap cross-country format is used for mountain bike racing in the Olympic Games. The first cyclist to complete all the laps and cross the finish line wins the race.

Course

Cyclists compete on a course comprising narrow stone and grass trails, with steep uphill and downhill sections that often include natural obstacles, such as rocks and logs. The circuit is 5km long, but men complete more laps than women.

Duration

A race lasts on average between 90 minutes and 2 hours, from the start until the last competitor finishes.

Pit stop

Competitors can be passed energy snacks and water bottles, often containing energy drinks, from team helpers in the 'feed zone' on each lap.

Bike

Designed to absorb impact while still reaching high speeds, modern mountain bikes are lightweight (8-9kg), with carbon-fibre frames, suspension and broad tyres.

Kit

Riders must wear a helmet, which is vented to help keep them cool. Clothing is aerodynamic and lightweight: short-sleeved jerseys and shorts allow the skin to 'breathe'.

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
FRA
Julien Absalon
2 0 0 2
FRA
Miguel Martinez
1 0 1 2
ned
Bart Brentjens
1 0 1 2
Women
ger
Sabine Spitz
1 1 1 3
ita
Paola Pezzo
2 0 0 2
fra
Julie Bresset
1 0 0 1

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 37
Men 63
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 4
21 - 25 35
26 - 30 24
31 - 40 35
Over 40 3
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