Bowing out in Brazil

Julien Absalon, the two-time Olympic champion, will retire after the Rio 2016 cross country event.

Absalon, who is considered one of the greatest ever cross country riders, previously claimed gold medals at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 but punctured in London 2012 meaning he did not finish the race.

Absalon told “Rio is my last big goal, it will be my last race, I will stop my career after this.”

The Frenchman will turn 36 just before the event and will be hoping to add to his tally of two Olympic titles, six World Cup overalls and five World Championships. This year he finished second in the World Cup overall and World Championships behind the dominant Nino Schurter.

Watch Shurter and Absalon battle at Windham

The Rio 2016 test event has already happened and Absalon finished fourth on a track that features long climbs, which will suit him, and rocky descents, which will suit Schurter. However, with Absalon making this his last big race you can ensure he will be focussing his training entirely on this next year while Schurter will be keen to defend his UCI crowns.

Absalon said: “It will be a dream for me to have another gold medal so I will work hard for that during the last ten months. I think anything can happen.”

The Rio cross country event will be held on Sunday 21 August next year.