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| Event type

Mountainbike, Cross-Country, Women

Date12 August 2012 — 12:30
StatusOlympic
LocationHadleigh Farm, Hadleigh, Essex
Participants30 from 23 countries
Venue detailsDistance: 29.26 km
Intermediate 1: 0.4 km
Intermediate 2: 5.2 km
Intermediate 3: 10.0 km
Intermediate 4: 14.8 km
Intermediate 5: 19.6 km
Intermediate 6: 24.4 km

Canada’s Catharine Pendrel was such a favorite to win the women’s mountain bike cross-country event at the 2012 Summer Olympics that her National Olympic Committee delayed choosing a flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony until after she competed. After having finished fourth at the 2008 Summer Games, missing out on bronze by nine seconds, she improved significantly and went on to win the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 World Championships. Going into the London Olympics ranked #1, she won the test event on the course, sealing her reputation as the favorite. In a sport as unpredictable as mountain biking, however, she would certainly not go unchallenged. Sabine Spitz of Germany, the defending Olympic champion and World Champion in 2003, was forty years old but had not slowed down and was well-prepared to defend her Olympic title. Poland’s Maja Włoszczowska, the 2010 World Champion and a silver medalist at both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2011 World Championships, was not competing due to injury but Beijing’s Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World Champion Irina Kalentyeva of Russia was expected to mount a challenge to Pendrel as well. Finally there was hometown favorite Annie Last who, although never finishing better than eighth at a major international competition, had spent two years training as a senior rather than in the under-23 division in the hopes of being selected for the 2012 Summer Olympics. With the support of the sold-out, 20,000 strong crowd at the event, she could certainly not be counted out.

After the start Pendrel, Last, and Spitz helped form a four rider-strong lead group that included Julie Bresset of France, the most recent under-23 World Champion. These cyclists put some distance between themselves and the field behind in the beginning, but Pendrel and Last began to fade by the second lap and were eventually passed by American Georgia Gould, who came from around 16th position to 7th by the end of the first lap. Following a collision between Pendrel and Last, Bresset, Spitz, and Gould led the field and were never challenged. Bresset was usually in front of the trio, with Spitz and Gould exchanging podium positions until Spitz crashed on a technical section approximately halfway through the race, which forced Gould to stop. Bresset used the opportunity to break away and was all but assured the gold medal, which she claimed over a minute ahead of anyone else. Spitz and Gould were still far ahead of their closest competitors and, while Gould’s early charge from 16th to podium position eventually cost her energy, Spitz was able to use her experience to outmanoeuver her opponent and win silver a comfortable six seconds ahead of her American rival. Gould finished with the bronze medal, a respectable 33 seconds ahead of Kalentieva, who was fourth. Last and Pendrel faded to eighth and ninth respectively, certainly a disappointing finish for the overwhelming favorite in the race. Pendrel would, however, go on to win bronze in the event at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

PosNrCyclistNOCTimeInt 1 (Pos)Int 2 (Pos)Int 3 (Pos)Int 4 (Pos)Int 5 (Pos)Int 6 (Pos)
14Julie BressetFRA1-30:520:56 (5)15:43 (1)30:43 (1)45:46 (1)1-00:40 (1)1-15:45 (1)Gold
21Sabine SpitzGER1-31:540:55 (1)15:45 (4)30:45 (2)45:50 (2)1-01:13 (2)1-16:42 (2)Silver
311Georgia GouldUSA1-32:001:02 (23)15:53 (9)30:50 (4)45:51 (3)1-01:18 (3)1-16:43 (3)Bronze
46Irina KalentyevaRUS1-32:330:56 (3)15:52 (8)30:54 (6)46:18 (4)1-01:36 (4)1-17:08 (4)
58Esther SüssSUI1-32:461:01 (19)16:03 (11)31:17 (10)46:33 (6)1-02:05 (6)1-17:38 (5)
616Alexandra EngenSWE1-33:081:00 (16)16:11 (15)31:37 (14)47:13 (12)1-02:52 (10)1-18:03 (8)
724Aleksandra DawidowiczPOL1-33:201:00 (17)16:05 (12)31:33 (12)46:59 (9)1-02:29 (7)1-17:56 (6)
85Annie LastGBR1-33:470:55 (2)15:44 (2)30:54 (5)46:20 (5)1-02:02 (5)1-17:58 (7)
92Catharine PendrelCAN1-34:280:58 (10)15:44 (3)30:45 (3)46:34 (7)1-02:29 (8)1-18:09 (9)
1018Tanja ŽakeljSLO1-34:410:59 (13)15:56 (10)31:16 (9)47:03 (10)1-02:44 (9)1-18:37 (10)
1117Lea DavisonUSA1-35:141:03 (26)16:05 (13)31:34 (13)47:28 (13)1-03:30 (11)1-19:29 (11)
1230Shi QinglanCHN1-35:281:05 (30)16:40 (19)32:04 (16)47:43 (14)1-03:37 (13)1-19:44 (12)
1314Yana BelomoinaUKR1-35:461:04 (28)16:46 (21)32:16 (20)48:08 (19)1-04:02 (14)1-20:08 (14)
149Kateřina NashCZE1-36:220:57 (7)15:50 (6)31:08 (7)47:06 (11)1-03:30 (12)1-19:46 (13)
1515Elisabeth OslAUT1-36:470:58 (11)16:52 (23)32:35 (21)48:25 (20)1-04:26 (18)1-20:35 (15)
1620Adelheid MorathGER1-37:171:03 (24)16:36 (18)32:11 (18)48:01 (17)1-04:13 (15)1-20:55 (16)
1712Eva LechnerITA1-37:360:58 (9)16:07 (14)31:51 (15)48:08 (18)1-04:38 (19)1-21:11 (17)
1819Karen HanlenNZL1-37:541:00 (15)16:22 (16)32:11 (17)47:59 (16)1-04:14 (16)1-21:42 (19)
1910Katrin LeumannSUI1-38:230:56 (4)15:48 (5)31:09 (8)46:44 (8)1-05:01 (20)1-22:11 (21)
2028Rie KatayamaJPN1-38:261:03 (25)17:05 (28)33:00 (23)49:10 (21)1-05:26 (21)1-21:55 (20)
2122Janka ŠtevkováSVK1-39:051:04 (27)16:52 (24)33:21 (26)49:39 (23)1-06:11 (23)1-22:49 (22)
2227Paula GoryckaPOL1-39:181:04 (29)17:00 (27)33:07 (24)49:28 (22)1-06:11 (22)1-22:49 (23)
237Emily BattyCAN1-40:370:59 (12)16:49 (22)33:20 (25)50:10 (25)1-06:54 (25)1-23:49 (24)
2423Rebecca HendersonAUS1-41:351:01 (20)16:57 (26)33:31 (27)50:11 (26)1-06:48 (24)1-24:07 (25)
2521Pauline Ferrand-PrévotFRA1-42:210:59 (14)16:23 (17)32:48 (22)49:56 (24)1-07:09 (26)1-24:32 (26)
2626Barbara BenkóHUN1-43:241:01 (18)16:56 (25)33:37 (28)50:57 (27)1-08:21 (27)1-25:53 (27)
2725Candice NeethlingRSA1-45:031:01 (21)17:06 (29)33:56 (29)51:33 (28)1-09:13 (28)1-27:02 (28)
AC3Gunn Rita Dahle-FlesjåNOR0:57 (6)16:44 (20)32:12 (19)– (–)– (–)– (–)DNF
AC29Laura AbrilCOL1:02 (22)– (–)– (–)– (–)– (–)– (–)DNF
AC13Blaža KlemenčičSLO1-39:420:57 (8)15:52 (7)31:25 (11)47:45 (15)1-04:19 ([17])[1-21:33] ([18])DQ1