Cross country Olympic mountain biking is one of the more exhilarating events at the Games, and that’ll be no different come the Rio Olympics in August.
While we would love to see downhill mountain biking in the Olympics, cross country is currently the only discipline included in the Games, and was introduced in 1996 for the Olympics in Atlanta, USA.
Cross country, or XC as it if often referred, has been in both the men’s and women’s category at every Olympic Games since it was first competed in the Games 20 years ago.
At the London 2012 Games, Czech racer Jaroslav Kulhavy beat Nino Schurter and Marco Aurelio Fontana into the top spot, taking the gold medal off the dominant French riders for the first time since Bart Brentjens won for Netherlands in 1996.
The big news for the 2016 Olympic cross country mountain biking in Rio de Janeiro is that road cycling World Champion Peter Sagan will be competing.
Before we get to the contenders and the history though, let’s take a look at the rules of the event: