Cycling at the Beijing Olympic Games concluded with the mountain bike cross-country on Saturday. Both the men's and women's races were held on the same day, after the women's race was postponed because of 'unsafe' conditions due to rain on Thursday. The new Olympic champions were the dominant riders in both races, leading from the first lap.
Sabine Spitz (Germany) took the women's title, while Julien Absalon (France) became the first man to successfully defend the Olympic mountain bike title. The weather was possibly the best seen thus far in Beijing for the Games, with blue skies, a slight breeze and temperatures in the low 30s (Celsius).
The ground was almost completely dried out from the soaking two days earlier, leaving a hard and fast track. The women did six laps and the men eight on the 4.5 kilometre course.
Spitz fulfilled her dream of an Olympic gold medal by dominating the field early on. Silver went to Polish rider Maja Wloszczowska and Irina Kalentyeva (Russia) scored the bronze medal. The best Chinese rider was Chengyuan Ren in fifth place, 2'29 back.
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