Preview: Women’s Olympic Mountain bike race 2016
The battle for gold
Because they are only being held once every four years the Olympic Games always are a, if not the, highlight of an athlete’s season. It is, therefore, time to preview this race. Who are the ones battling for the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro on the 20th and 21st of August? Here is a preview on the Women’s Olympic Mountain bike race 2016
The Olympic Mountainbike Race
Mountain biking became an Olympic sport in 1996. Since then, the list of male winners consists of Bart Brentjes (the Netherlands), Miguel Martinez (France), Julien Absalon (France) and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) and the list of female winners consists of Paola Pezzo (Italy), Gunn-Rita Dale Flesjå (Norway), Sabine Spitz (Germany) and Julie Brasset (France).
The parcours in Rio appears to be very technical including quite some climbs and downhills. The Olympic test event in October 2015, where many top mountainbikers took the start, was won by Nino Schurter (Switzerland) who beat Maxime Marotte (France) in a sprint-a-deux. The women test event was won by Eva Lechner (Italy) who finished solo before Maja Wlozczowska (Poland) and Jenny Rissveds (Sweden). The Olympic race will consist of a mass start where the start order of the race will be determined by the place of the riders on the UCI ranking.
The women’s race will consist of 6 laps of 4,85 kilometers in the Deodoro Olympic Park.
Favorites for Rio 2016
Current world champion and world number one Annika Langvad will surely be looking to get her first Olympic gold medal after being fairly dominant this season. Although she can expect some tough competition.
The world number two Jolanda Neff is succesfull in combining the road and the MTB as she recently won the Tour de Pologne women’s race. She appears to be in great shape.
The current world number three and silver medallist at the World Championships and the Olympic test event is another force to take into account as she will be looking to improve her silver medal from Beijing 2008.
With her 45 years of age she is a true veteran from Germany. She has won all the different medals already on the Olympics. Perhaps she will be able to add another Olympic medal to her already impressive collection.
This Swedish woman is a world-class mountain biker too. The 22-year old has had an impressive season so far and finished third in the Olympic test event. She became world champion in the U23 category and on home soil she grabbed silver on during the European Championships in the U23 category. In the beginning of July she also managed to win the world cup Lenzerheide.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Another woman who should not be forgotten. She has had a difficult season with quite some injuries but she still managed to become national champion and world champion with the French team. On World Cup level she had some less promising results but anything is possible in a race, definitely in an Olympic one.
Last but not certainly least. Like Spitz she has a lot of experience with her 38 years but the Czech lady is still competing with the best. She finished just off the podium in the Lenzerheide World Cup and became seventh at the World Championships. With the Czech team she grabbed silver in the team relay where according to her teammates she was the one securing their medal.
August 20 the woman’s race will be held. For a preview on the men’s Olympic race, click here.
A preview to the Olympic mountainbike race written by Tet Pennings and Sjors Beukeboom