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Last looking to continue comeback at World Championships

Annie Last is looking to continue her comeback from injury in style at this weekend’s Mountain Bike World Championships in Norway.

The 23...

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History

The sport of Mountain biking was initially seen as an organised event about 30 years ago when a group of enthusiasts from the Velo Club Mount Tamalpais outside San Francisco started the Repack Downhill Race. This began in 1976 and ran for three years and pulled in riders from all across the US.

By 1990 the sport had become professional and now included a full World Championship

Olympic History

Mountain Bike was first introduced into the Olympic Programme of Atlanta in 1996, with the race over uneven ground (men’s and women’s)

Technical

There is a men’s competition and women’s competition. Riders are seeded on a starting grid according to their current world ranking and after a mass start complete a specified number of laps of the course. The first rider to cross the finish line is the winner. The course is an undulating circuit designed to produce a specific winning time, and not a specific distance

The number of laps is determined at the latest two hours before the start of the race to determine the optimum finish time. The decision depends on the track and weather conditions.

equipment

Clothing

More akin to road cyclists than their downhill mountain biking cousins, the clothing for Cross-country riders needs to be light and easy for moisture to escape. Head protection (can be a normal bike helmet) and gloves are important and usually competitors wear sports glasses.

 

Bike

Bikes are very light and technically advanced. There are two different types of suspension. Full suspension (suspension for both front and back wheels) and ‘hardtail’ (front suspension but no suspension at the rear)

Frames are made of light materials such as aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre. Tyres are light and with a good rough knobbled treat to provide grip although different terrain requires different treat paterns. Brakes are usually disc.

rules

The Start

The riding area at the start for events where riders start in groups must be:
1) At least 6 metres wide for a minimum distance of 30 metres before the line.
2) At least 6 metres wide for a minimum of 100 metres after the line.
3) Either on the flat or climbing for a minimum of 1000m, or 5 minutes after which the riding area may narrow.

The Course

The course of a mountain bike race should include, where possible, forest roads and tracks, fields, earth or gravel paths. Paved or tarred/asphalt roads should not exceed 15% of the total course.

The course must be free of all obstacles which have not been planned and/or notified to the riders. The course must be marked every kilometre by a sign indicating the distance yet to be raced. Furthermore, the last kilometre must be marked with a sign clearly indicating that only one kilometre of the course remains.

Team HeroesEntire Team

Liam ‘Killah’ Killeen hit a course marker after only 150m at Beijing 2008 before regrouping to finish seventh.

A Commonwealth bronze medallist, Killeen considers being stuck in traffic as bad as finishing fourth.

Our Results

Total: 0 medals
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Atlanta 1996
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Sydney 2000
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Athens 2004
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Beijing 2008
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London 2012
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