Mountain Biking is quite a young sport but it has gained worldwide popularity very quickly. It originated in California during the 1970 and since then millions of people throughout the world have succumbed to the fascinationon of this rough and fast-paced sport. It has been part of the Olympic games since 1996 and has produced three male winners of the gold medal and three female ones. Male gold-medal-winners were Dutchman Bart Brentjens in 1996, Frenchman Miguel Martinez in 2000 and another Frenchman, Julien Absalon, in 2004 and 2008. Female winners were Italy’s Paola Pezzo in 1996 and 2000, Gunn-Rita Dahle from Norway in 2004 and Germany’s Sabine Spitz in 2008. The rules are simple. In each race, the competitors from each country start at the same time and for roughly 2 hours they ride their bikes on a closed off-road course. The first biker who crosses the finish line after a certain number of laps on the course wins.
New courses for the big event
The city of London will be hosting the next Olympic Games in 2012 and building the necessary infrastructure is in full progress. Recently the course for the mountainbike discipline has been finished. It is nearly 4 miles long and is located in the county of Essex, north-east of London. The British team was the first to try out the new track once it was finished. Since it is all-new and was specifically designed for the Olympic Games, spectators and fans can be sure to see not only high quality mountainbikes, but also a course that offers lots of excitement and will push the drivers to their limits. Fans around the whole world are already excited for the beginning of the Games and the athletes themselves are training hard for the big event.