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2012 Olympic Mountain Bike Track Put To The Test

2012 Olympic Mountain Bike Track Put To The Test
Olympic mountain bike course regarded as a challenge by some of the world’s best riders.


Some of the world’s best mountain bikers were seen getting a feel for the 2012 Olympic track at Hadleigh Castle, Essex on the 27th of July.

Man made for the most part, the 5Km circuit boasts tightly twisted climbs and spectacular drops across the tops of imported boulders.

It has been stated by critics that the course is too flat, however Britain’s Steven James has said that for a full-on effort it was probably the hardest course he has ever raced. France’s two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon agrees that the course is challenging, but did say that the only problem was that it was difficult to pass one another as the track is mostly a single track.

Absalon, leading the race from the start, stormed across the finish line in one hour, 31 minutes and 48 seconds winning the men’s race. One minute 20 seconds behind was Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser, in the third and a full one minute and 46 seconds behind first place was Austria’s Karl Markt.

For Britain an inexperienced team was put forward due to the majority of the team preparing for the upcoming Olympic qualifier, thus making Lee Williams Team GB’s best hope; however a fall over his handlebars left him claiming 20th place.

In the women’s race taking the gold and finishing 56 seconds in front of USA’s Goergia Gould was Canadian Catharine Pendrel. Third place was taken by Julie Bresset from France, she finished one minute 32 seconds behind first place.

All of Britain’s women were withdrawn from the race due to the ‘80% rule,’ which states that any rider behind the leader’s lap time by more than 80% is eliminated from the race. Maxine Filby, one of Britain’s female riders found the course to be a lovely challenge, though tricky.

Director of Sport at LOCOG, Debbie Jevans explained the importance of setting up a test event, to see how smoothly things would operate, which according to her was a huge success; nonetheless she did say that they will still learn the lessons from this event and work in conjunction with the athletes to see where they could improve.

*** Read More About U.K. Mountain Biking ***

**Words By Keegan Campbell**

**Photograph By Graham Dean**

Tags: 2012, 2012 Olympic Games, London Olympics, Mountain Bike Trail, Mountain Biking

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