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Cycling at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games:

Men's Mountainbike, Cross-Country

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Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Fairfield City Farm, Abbotsbury, New South Wales
Date Started: September 24, 2000
Date Finished: September 24, 2000
Format: 49.4 km. (30.7 miles).

Gold: FRA Miguel Martinez
Silver: BEL Filip Meirhaeghe
Bronze: SUI Christoph Sauser

Summary

The course was seven laps, each of about seven kilometers. Since the 1996 Olympics, the four world titles had been won by four different cyclists, with the 2000 title going to France’s Miguel Martinez. The 1996 silver medalist, Thomas Frischknecht (SUI), tried to steal the race early and led after the first four laps but he was then passed by Martinez and Belgium’s Filip Meirhaeghe. Martinez quickly broke Meirhaeghe and won the gold medal by over a minute.

Martinez had not only won the 2000 World title, but also the World Cup, hence dominating the season. His father was Mariano Martinez, who won two stages (1978, 1980) and the polka dot jersey (1978) in the Tour de France. In July 2004, Meirhaeghe was caught using EPO, and was suspended for two years. He admitted to doping, but was able to make a comeback and compete at the 2008 Olympics. Frischknecht was a veteran, having been runner up at the Worlds in 1990-92. He again finished second in 1996, but moved into first when the winner was later disqualified for doping. He was also a former World Championship runner-up in cyclo-cross, as his father had been.

In 22nd place was Michael Rasmussen (DEN), the 1999 World Champion. Rasmussen would soon turn to road racing, and won the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains at the 2005-2006 Tour de France. In 2005, he was in third place in GC entering the penultimate stage, an individual time trial. But obviously not a time trialist, he fell several times, endured several bike changes, placed 77th in the stage, and dropped to seventh overall. In 2007, Rasmussen again put on the polka dot jersey, and actually held the yellow jersey as leader of the Tour after 16 stages and seemed assured of victory. But he was then withdrawn by his Rabobank team when he was found to have evaded doping controls several times, by frequently failing to report his location. A future two-time runner-up in the Tour de France also in this race was Australian Cadel Evans, who placed seventh, but later turned to road racing.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal M T
1 Miguel Martinez 24 France FRA Gold 2-09:02.50
2 Filip Meirhaeghe 29 Belgium BEL Silver at 1:03.01
3 Christoph Sauser 24 Switzerland SUI Bronze at 2:18.50
4 José Antonio Hermida 22 Spain ESP at 2:40.41
5 Lado Fumic 24 Germany GER at 2:55.38
6 Thomas Frischknecht 30 Switzerland SUI at 3:39.99
7 Cadel Evans 23 Australia AUS at 4:29.15
8 Carsten Bresser 30 Germany GER at 4:34.73
9 Geoff Kabush 23 Canada CAN at 4:58.16
10 Paul Rowney 29 Australia AUS at 5:19.94
11 Bas van Dooren 27 Netherlands NED at 5:34.76
12 Bart Brentjens 31 Netherlands NED at 5:39.45
13 Rob Woods 32 Australia AUS at 5:39.70
14 Roland Green 26 Canada CAN at 6:16.35
15 Roberto Lezaun 33 Spain ESP at 6:54.49
16 Marco Bui 22 Italy ITA at 7:06.64
17 Kashi Leuchs 22 New Zealand NZL at 7:35.07
18 Ludovic Dubau 26 France FRA at 7:46.06
19 Roel Paulissen 24 Belgium BEL at 7:52.32
20 Pavel Cherkasov 28 Russia RUS at 8:19.42
21 Marek Galiński 26 Poland POL at 8:33.04
22 Michael Rasmussen 26 Denmark DEN at 9:13.07
23 Oli Beckingsale 24 Great Britain GBR at 9:14.51
24 Ziranda Madrigal 23 Mexico MEX at 10:31.06
25 Nick Craig 31 Great Britain GBR at 10:57.77
26 Mannie Heymans 29 Namibia NAM at 11:29.44
27 Serhiy Rysenko 20 Ukraine UKR at 11:37.50
28 Robin Seymour 29 Ireland IRL at 11:37.69
29 Radim Kořínek 26 Czech Republic CZE at 12:06.09
30 Tinker Juarez 39 United States USA at 13:08.69
31 Hubert Pallhuber 34 Italy ITA at 13:53.14
32 Travis Brown 31 United States USA at 13:59.50
33 José Adrián Bonilla 22 Costa Rica CRC at 21:00.22
34 Raita Suzuki 28 Japan JPN at 1 lap
35 Tom Larsen 28 Norway NOR at 1 lap
36 Jesper Agergård 25 Denmark DEN at 1 lap
37 Primož Štrancar 27 Slovenia SLO at 1 lap
38 Gang Dong-U 22 South Korea KOR at 2 laps
39 Ken Muhindi 22 Kenya KEN at 4 laps
AC Christophe Dupouey 32 France FRA DNF (lap 6)
AC Renato Seabra 22 Brazil BRA DNF (lap 6)
AC Diego Garavito 28 Colombia COL DNF (lap 5)
AC Peter Van Den Abeele 34 Belgium BEL DNF (lap 4)
AC Ignacio Gili 29 Argentina ARG DNF (lap 4)
AC Patrick Tolhoek 35 Netherlands NED DNF (lap 3)
AC Rok Drašler 21 Slovenia SLO DNF (lap 3)
AC Thomas Hochstrasser 24 Switzerland SUI DNF (lap 2)
AC Derek Horton 27 Guam GUM DNF (lap 2)
AC Rune Høydahl 30 Norway NOR DNF (lap 1)