A new Olympic event for women, this event had first been contested at the World Championships in 1995. There was no suspense in this event as France’s Félicia Ballanger had won every world title, and was the world record holder with 34.010. Australia’s Michelle Ferris had won four medals at the Worlds, behind Ballanger. As the 12th rider off, she took the lead with 34.696, the first rider to break 35 seconds in Sydney. China’s Jiang Cuihua, 1999 Worlds silver medalist, rode next-to-last but could not better Ferris, eventually winning bronze with 34.768 - China’s first cycling medal. Ballanger went off last and won easily, with 34.140, a huge margin in such a short event.