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Sport Overview

This cross-country event sees competitors racing up steep climbs and down drops, and navigating rocks and roots in an impressive display of power and precision. Riders start en masse and must complete a set number of laps of the twisting, turning course

Canadians Max Plaxton won a silver medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara and Amanda Sin won the bronze. Colombia topped the podium with a gold medal in the men’s event, while the U.S. captured gold in the women’s.


History

Bicycles pre-date automobiles. Many inventions and adaptations later, the modern bicycle has gears, brakes, pedals, two wheels the same size, rubber tires and a chain.

The first mountain bike competitions were held in California in the early 80s. Since then, the discipline has grown very quickly. The first Cycling MTB World Championships to be officially recognized by the International Cycling Union (UCI) dates back to 1990 and was held in Colorado. A world cup circuit was set up the following year.

In 1996, cross-country mountain biking events for both men and women were added to the Olympic Games and have remained the same to this day.


How it works

Cross-country races are held over undulating circuits of 4 to 6 kilometres. The race lasts from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes.

There are two cross-country mountain bike events: one for men and one for women.

Mountain bikes are built for speed and durability, and feature knobby tires for traction and front and rear suspension for comfort.


Terminology

Rock garden
Section of trail covered by grapefruit- to basketball-sized rocks.

Doubletrack
An overgrown road that has two parallel trails.

Hardtail
A mountain bike that only has front suspension.

Singletrack
A narrow trail.

Suspension
The part of the bike that absorbs impact and makes for a smoother ride.

Additional Information

Additional Information