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Athens 2004 

MountainBike  Cross Country

(MTB X-C)

5 laps - 31.3km

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Olympic Index

On a course which has been amended slightly, due to a fire on 18th August, the riders will compete over 5 laps of the Parnitha Olympic Mountain Bike Venue in Metochi. The course has 2 climbs and a downhill section and is considered to be a technical course - moreso since the re-routing.

If Paolo Pezzo is able to defend her title, she will be the only woman to have won the MTB X-C in the Olympic Games - having won gold in Atlanta, the first time the event was included in the Games and then successfully defending her title in Sydney, 4 years ago. Pezzo retired from MTB in 2002, but has come back to defend her medal. She was a 1994, Lillehammar Olympics competitor in the cross country skiing event.

There are others who will be determined to stop her, including Canada's Alyson Sydor, who said at the Canadian Team's press conference that she "may not be the most talented rider, but I try and compensate by being the best prepared." Sydor was the silver medallist in Sydney. Bronze medal winner in Sydney. Spaniard Marga Fullana is also on the start list.

Amongst the others in contention are : 2003 world champion Sabine Spitz (Ger) and 2002 world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor). Dahle is currently leading the season-long World Cup too. 

Start List

Race Number Name Nation
1 Gun-Rita DAHLE NOR
2 Mary McCONNELOUG USA
4 Ivonne KRAFT GER
6 Alison SYDOR CAN
7 Irina KALENTIEVA RUS
8 Maja WLOSZCZOWSKA POL
9 Sabine SPITZ GER
10 Kiara BISARO CAN
11 Marie-Helene PREMONT CAN
12 Elsbeth van ROOY-VINK NED
13 Magdalena SADLECKA POL
14 Lisa MATHISON AUS
15 Anna SZAFRANIEC POL
16 Barbara BLATTER SUI
17 Barbel JUNGMEIER AUT
18 Janka STEVKOVA SVK
20 Jenny McCAULEY IRL
21 Elina SOFOCLEOUS CYP
22 Mette ANDERSEN DEN
24 Robyn WONG NZL
25 Laurence LEBOUCHER FRA
26 Jaqueline MOURAO BRA
27 Marga FULLANA ESP
28 Jimena FLORIT ARG
29 Maria OSTERGREN SWE
30 Paola PEZZO ITA
31 Yanping MA CHN
32 Yukari NAKAGOME JPN
33 Karen MATAMOROS CRC
34 Katrin LEUMANN SUI

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Start list and results detail courtesy Athens2004.com

Results

Position Race Number Name Nation Average Speed (km/h) Final Time Time Behind
1 1 Gunn-Rita DAHLE  NOR 16.072 01:56:51
2 11 Marie-Helene PREMONT  CAN 15.938 01:57:50 +0:59
3 9 Sabine SPITZ  GER 15.735 01:59:21 +2:30
4 6 Alison SYDOR  CAN 15.678 01:59:47 +2:56
5 12 Elsbeth van ROOY-VINK NED 15.434 02:01:41 +4:50
6 8 Maja WLOSZCZOWSKA  POL 15.377 02:02:08 +5:17

With the temperature rising from a comfortable 22'C to around 30'C during the event, the riders were faced with a dusty course which heated up and dried out too - as the humidity dropped.

The final positions were sorted out early into the race and confirmed at the bell lap. Dahle led Premont by over 1 1/2 minutes at the bell. Premont was followed by Spitz and Sydor across the line at the bell. Dahle was seemingly confirming her form of 2004 with this ride. She has won 5 from 5 outings in the World Cup so far.

During the final lap, Dahle's advantage waned slightly as she firstly had gear problems and then secondly relished her victory. As she rode up the finishing straight, took the time to take a Norwegian flag from a spectator and fly it above her head as she crossed the finish line. 

Premont finished a 59seconds later, found Dahle and gave her a congratulatory hug. 

The pair then waited for bronze medallist, current World Champion, Sabine Spitz to finish.

 

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