Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Olympic Mountain Bike Center, Deodoro Olympic Park, Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 20, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Mountain bike tracks have changed in the 20 years since the sports Olympic debut in Atlanta 1996, which consisted of a very basic compact dirt course set in beside the equestrian venue. Meanwhile at London 2012 at Hadleigh Farms, the course was enjoyed by the riders and was very spectator friendly (rated at 60% visibility). The South African course designer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games mountain bike course, Nick Floros, created a technically challenging course for the riders, yet one that allowed the spectators to enjoy the competition as much as possible, with an 85% visibility, all while making use of the natural landscape at the Deodoro venue.
The Mountain Bike Centre in Rio was one of three venues that comprised the X-Park (along with canoe slalom and BMX), and was built with legacy in mind, remaining open to the public following the Olympics. The mountain bike course consisted of grassy wide-open stretches combined with man-made obstacles and serious slopes - a marked difference from the more level terrain four years ago in London 2012.
The mountain bike races were mass start events on 20 (women) and 21 (men) August 2016. Riders were seeded into a starting grid according to their current Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ranking. The riders completed one 0.57 km start loop, followed by six laps of the course for women (29.67 km) and seven laps for the men (34.52 km), where each lap was 4.85 km long. The total number of laps to be raced was announced at the team managersâ meeting on the day before the first race with the aim to ensure that the winning time was within the set parameters.
With the same rules and competition format, the only differences between the World Championships and the Olympic Games is that there are more competitors in the field at World Championships, due to different quotas for each National Olympic Committee (NOC): at the Olympic Games there are a maximum of three men and two women per NOC. There were no rule and competition format changes since the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The womenâs mountain bike race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio started at 12:30 pm on 20 August 2016, and consisted of 29 riders from 23 nations. It was 33 degrees Celsius. The race configuration consisted of one start loop of 0.57 km, plus six laps of the course for a total of 29.67 km. [Linda Indergand] of Switzerland set the early pace in the six-lap race, coming through first to start the second lap, followed nine seconds later by Polandâs [Maja WÅoszczowska], [Jolanda Neff] of Switzerland and [Jenny Rissveds] of Sweden. Four seconds back from the lead pack was Norwayâs [Gunn Rita Dahle-FlesjÃ¥], followed by World bronze medalist Canadian [Emily Batty] and Czech [KateÅina Nash], the winter/summer Olympian, who were just over 23 seconds back.
On the second lap, Indergand relinquished her lead to the chasers, with Rissveds, Neff and WÅoszczowska forming a new lead threesome that took charge going into the second half of the race. Soon Rissveds led the lead group to start lap four, holding a three second advantage over Neff, and four seconds over WÅoszczowska. Neff eventually paid for her efforts to keep up with Rissveds, losing contact with the Swedish rider and WÅoszczowska.
Going into the penultimate lap, WÅoszczowska led Rissveds through the start/finish, with Neff falling further off the lead pace, and a trio made of up Canadians [Catharine Pendrel] and Emily Batty, along with Nash chasing, nearly a minute later. But Neff continued to fade over the fifth lap, with both Pendrel and Batty passing her, while Nash fell off the pace of the Canadian pair, who were going to be battling each other for the final spot on the medal podium.
Starting the sixth and final lap, WÅoszczowska led Rissveds through the line, with Pendrel chasing solo 30 seconds back, and Batty another eight seconds behind. Rissveds, however, rode away from WÅoszczowska over the rocky technical sections in the beginning of the lap, and from there the 22-year-old Swedish rider smoothly drove over the finish line, and to the gold medal. Rissveds took the silver. The Canadians, Pendrel and Batty, battled down the home stretch, with Pendrel, who had overcome an early crash that dropped her to 15th place, finished with the bronze medal, avenging her Olympic heartbreak from 2012, two seconds ahead of Canadian team mate Batty in fourth. The medals were presented by [Tricia Smith], IOC member (Canada) and Emin Muftuoglu, Member of the UCI Management Committee.
|5||KateÅina HanuÅ¡ovÃ¡-Nash||38||Czech Republic||CZE||1-32:25||1:04||14||15:33||5||30:53||7||46:00||6||1-01:20||6||1-16:39||5|
|7||Lea Davison||33||United States||USA||1-33:27||1:05||24||16:10||11||31:26||9||46:58||10||1-02:29||10||1-18:08||9|
|10||Gunn Rita Dahle-FlesjÃ¥||43||Norway||NOR||1-33:34||1:04||15||15:34||6||30:42||5||45:58||4||1-01:39||7||1-17:46||7|
|14||Chloe Woodruff||29||United States||USA||1-36:17||1:04||21||17:12||21||32:33||16||48:15||14||1-04:04||14||1-20:14||14|
|28||Francelina Cabral||31||Timor Leste||TLS||1:08||29||lapped|