Summer Olympic Sports: Mountain Bike

Despite its youth, the mountain bike has gained great popularity in various countries. It was invented in the 1950s of the 20th century. That mountain biking has become an official sport is much to the credit of the members of the Velo Club Mount Tamalpais. They first organized a downhill race near the city of San Francisco. Soon this active sport attracted the attention of athletes from other countries.

 Due to its adherents and media, the Mountain Bike gained widespread prominence. In 1990, it was declared a professional sport and recognized by the World Cycling Organization, and became part of the Olympic program 6 years later.

Men’s competitions are held at distances ranging from 40 km to 50 km, while women’s events run at 30-40 km. The distance that athletes will travel depends on the approximate total time of overcoming the track. Men’s championship is held within 2 h 15 min, and women’s – no more than 2 h.

The distance for the final race is determined based on weather conditions. Racers all along the way must not push back or drag the bike, otherwise these actions may result in a review of the results.

Athletes start at the same time. Cyclists first pass a lap of 1.8 km, return to the start, and then pass a set number of laps. The participant of the competition, who came to the finish first, wins the competition.

Riders are prohibited from using anyone’s help to avoid disqualification. Hardware failures they are forced to fix on their own. In addition, athletes should not cause interference to competitors and give way to faster race participants.

This competition is held for elimination: the rider who was bypassed on a lap will be removed from the track.

A cross-country track is used to run the race. There are signs of the remaining distance and information about dangerous areas of the terrain through each 1 km.

Mountain bikes are made of high-strength materials, have powerful brakes, tight tires. Athletes must wear protective helmets, because various dangerous situations and injuries are possible during the race.

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