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Cycling at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's Individual Pursuit, 3,000 metres

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Stone Mountain Velodrome, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Date Started: July 25, 1996
Date Finished: July 28, 1996

Gold: ITA Antonella Bellutti
Silver: FRA Marion Clignet
Bronze: GER Judith Arndt

Summary

Through the 1980s, America’s Rebecca Twigg had shared the title of world’s best female pursuiter with France’s Jeannie Longo. Together they had shared the World Championships between 1982 and 1989, save for 1982, won by Connie Carpenter-Phinney, winner of the inaugural women’s Olympic road race in 1984. Twigg had won a bronze medal in the pursuit in 1992, but had again won the world pursuit title in 1993 and 1995. Twigg was known for her brains and her looks as well as her cycling abilities. She started college when only 14-years-old and had worked part-time for several years as a model. Based on her recent World titles, and her past palmares, she was a slight favorite. But she was unable to overcome the Italian, Antonella Bellutti and her new bike, with the revolutionary handlebars and riding position, termed the Superman position for its resemblance to his fictional flying posture. Bellutti led the qualifying and won all her races by over five seconds. Twigg lost in the quarters to Germany’s Judith Arndt. Arndt in turn lost to the 1994 World Champion, Marion Clignet (FRA), in the semis, before Clignet succumbed to Bellutti in the final. Shortly after the Olympics, Clignet would win the 1996 World Championship, with Bellutti placing third. Twigg would race for one more year, retiring after 1997, when she raced mostly in the United States. Clignet was American-born but had been unable to make the US team for international races, so used dual French citizenship to compete for France internationally.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Antonella Bellutti 27 Italy ITA Gold
2 Marion Clignet 32 France FRA Silver
3 Judith Arndt 19 Germany GER Bronze
4 Yvonne McGregor 35 Great Britain GBR
5 Rebecca Twigg 33 United States USA
6 Rasa Mažeikytė 20 Lithuania LTU
7 Sarah Ulmer 20 New Zealand NZL
8 Kathy Watt 31 Australia AUS
9 May Britt Hartwell 27 Norway NOR
10 Nataliya Karimova 22 Russia RUS
11 Wang Qingzhi 27 China CHN
12 Seiko Hashimoto 31 Japan JPN