Sweden's Jenny Rissveds takes the win in the Rio Olympics Cross Country cycling at the age of 22
In a dominant display Sweden’s Jenny Rissveds took Gold in the Rio Olympics cross country racing after a hard fought battle against Poland’s Maja Wlozczowska.
Rissveds and Wlozczowska battled it out for the best part of 6 laps before Rissveds pulled away just before the dual slalom section of the course on the final lap.
Third place was taken by Catherine Pendrel of Canada who moved back through the field following a crash early in the race. She edged out her teammate Emily Batty who took fourth.
The race was led out hard by the Swiss Linda Indergand but Rissveds, Wlozczowska and Jolanda Neff remained calm and closed the gap before distancing themselves from the rest of the race.
Swiss compatriot Jolanda Neff – who had already raced the women’s road race the week before – took a tumble and was unable to hold on to the pace, finishing in 6th position. Despite being a favourite she’s yet to win herself an Olympic medal.
Rissveds – who is just 22 years of age – is the current Swedish national champion as well as the u23 world champion. She showed great experience, allowing Wlozczowska to take the lead and set the pace, before powering by in the final lap.
Watch: How to climb technical climbs
Riding her Scott Spark, Rissveds was one of the few athletes to race aboard a full suspension bike. The course – which was predominantly man made – featured demanding technical sections, including a steep staircase and a series of gap jumps named ‘The Flip-Flops’.
Team GB failed to qualify any female racers to the Cross Country in Rio, a bit of a blow considering GB rider Annie Last finished 8th in 2012.
Plus the race remains one of the best showcases of our sport – it actually receives TV broadcasting.
Fortunately, Brit XC racer Grant Ferguson was able to qualify for the men’s race tomorrow.
The men’s race kicks off at 16.30 BST tomorrow afternoon and if it’s anything like the 2012 race it’ll be well worth a watch – with the racing coming right down to the wire.