The first mountain bike World Championships were organized in 1990 but mountain biking only made its debut as an Olympic sport at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. That means that there have only ever been six Olympic Games that included mountain biking and 12 gold medals awarded, six to men and six to women. Both Paola Pezzo and Julien Absalon have won two apiece so that means just 10 people in the world have ever been Olympic gold medallists in mountain biking.
Add to that, although 36 medals have been awarded in total, only 26 individuals have ever won Olympic cross-country mountain biking medals. While Julien Absalon and Paola Pezzo may be the only ever back-to-back champions, both Nino Schurter and Sabine Spitz have the entire collection of bronze, silver, and gold at home and Bart Brentjens, Miguel Martinez, Maja Włoszczowska, and Jaroslav Kulhavý have two medals apiece. Since 1996, there have been over 400 XC World Cup medals awarded, but only 12 men and 14 women have ever won Olympic medals.
I guess what I’m trying to say with all these numbers is that it’s a pretty big deal to win an Olympic medal. The world’s fastest cross-country mountain bikers have already had the chance to race the Tokyo 2020 course and it was Nino Schurter and Jolanda Neff that came out on top, but it’s all going to come down to race day on July 27, 2020 (Men’s) and July 28, 2020 (Women’s).
Nino Schurter said on November 16th that the “first intervals for #2020 are in the books. Or better said, saved on the Garmin computer.” Can he win a record-breaking fourth Olympic medal? Let us know what you think in the poll below.
2. Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland) 2:20:14
3. Miguel Martinez (France) 2:20:36
1. Paola Pezzo (Italy) 1:50.51
2. Alison Sydor (Canada) 1:51.58
3. Susan DeMattei (United States) 1:52.36
2. Filip Meirhaeghe (Belgium) + 1.03
3. Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) + 2.18
1. Paola Pezzo (Italy) 01:49:24
2. Barbara Blatter (Switzerland) + 0.27
3. Margarita Fullana (Spain) + 0.35
2. José Antonio Hermida (Spain) 2:16:02
3. Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) 2:17:05
1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Norway) 1:56:51
2. Marie-Hélène Prémont (Canada) 1:57:50
3. Sabine Spitz (Germany) 1:59:21
1. Julien Absalon (France) 1:55:59
2. Jean-Christophe Péraud (France) 1:57:06
3. Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 1:57:52
1. Sabine Spitz (Germany) 1:45:11
2. Maja Włoszczowska (Poland) 1:45:52
3. Irina Kalentieva (Russia) 1:46:28
You can watch the women’s race here.
1. Jaroslav Kulhavý (Czech Republic) 1:29:07
2. Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 1:29:08
3. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy) 1:29:32
1. Julie Bresset (France) 1:30:52
2. Sabine Spitz (Germany) 1:31:54
3. Georgia Gould (United States) 1:32:00
1. Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 1:33:28
2. Jaroslav Kulhavý (Czech Republic) 1:34:18
3. Carlos Coloma Nicolás (Spain) 1:34:51
1. Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) 1:30:15
2. Maja Włoszczowska (Poland) 1:30:52
3. Catharine Pendrel (Canada ) 1:31:41