For a very long time, people have embarked on mountain biking for leisure sporting activities. We can trace back its popularity to the middle of the twentieth century. Today, we now have what we call the mountain bike Olympic.
- Part 1: When Did Mountain Biking Become an Olympic Game
- Part 2: What Influenced the Ratification of the Mountain Bike Olympic in 1996
- Part 3: Rules Guiding Olympic Mountain Bike Race
- Part 4: Specific Rules and Regulations
- Part 5: Qualification Process for the Mountain Bike Olympic
- Part 6: Conclusion
Part 1: When Did Mountain Biking Become an Olympic Game
Because cycling is what people do every day, we could easily assume that the mountain biking at Olympics is a sport every mountain bike rider can join. If you want to become a professional Olympic mountainbike rider, you must be fit, agile, strong, persistent, and courageous.
When it was ratified as a category of sport in the Summer Olympic game at the Georgia Olympic game of 1996, its popularity increased around the world. It became a highly competitive sport in the same rank as other sports games like boxing, swimming, and so on that require extreme dedication. In case you still don’t know what mountain biking is, it is a bicycle race on rough terrain. Bikers use a special type of bicycle for the race. This bicycle is called a mountain bike (MTB). It has a special design that can adapt to rough tracks. Since it became an Olympic sports game more than twenty-five years ago, the Olympic MTB has remained the most celebrated Olympic cycling event.
Part 2: What Influenced the Ratification of the Mountain Bike Olympic in 1996
In fact, many factors influence events we record in history. This could be a discovery, a natural disaster, new friendship, a bilateral agreement, or an invention. For mountain bikes of the Olympics, it was an invention. Considering the rough patch on which the race was meant to take place, strong bikes were necessary to ensure the safety of bikers and the entertainment of spectators. Hence, there was a new design of bikes. This new design assured everybody that bikes could race on rough terrain effectively without breaking down. Assured of this, the mountain bike Olympic became the game that attracted many enthusiasts.
Part 3: Rules Guiding Olympic Mountain Bike Race
The riders spent about 90 to 105 minutes competing for the medals. The first person to reach the finishing line wins the gold medal while the second and third people get the silver and bronze Olympic medals respectively. Within this specified amount of time, they cover four to six kilometres of narrow rough single-track terrain with a steep ascent that leads to a rocky path.
This is like a marathon. The difference is that bikers tend to ride a bicycle. On the way to the finishing line, there are feed areas to fix an Olympic Mountain bike, eat, or drink. It is a sports category that requires intense energy because of the energetic movement and control of the bike it entails. With a high level of endurance, it is easier for a biker to win the race. It means he or she wouldn’t spend much time eating on the way. Rather than relax like twice on the way, they would relax just once with speed also.
There are a few reasons why this race is usually intense. It starts with tens of riders. They cover multiple laps. At the end of each lap, a rider gets disqualified when his or her time is lower than the finishing time of the first lap of the race leader. The rule is the same for all the riders. They start riding at the same time.
Your strength, control, and speed determine how you remain on course. Maintaining your balance when you are taking a jump, a turn, hitting a rock, climb a hill will have a great influence on the result of your race. The terrain is not usually similar in many countries. They are usually natural. Unlike a football pitch, we still don’t have a rough terrain that is built artificially. So, mastering the geographic weather and the path riders will be taking in the competition is an important ingredient to eventually winning the race.
Part 4: Specific Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations are guiding every organization. It helps prevent malpractices and also improves the culture of trust. There are rules and regulations to guide the conduct of the organizers of the event, the spectators, and participants in the cycling mountain bike Olympics. For the cross-country cycling competition at Olympic, it is the responsibility of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to set the standard rules and regulations. Below are the rules and regulations:
- To begin with, the course format for the mountainbiking Olympics should employ an attractive layout design that can facilitate easy viewing for spectators at the venue and TV coverage for distant viewers.
- This course must be available for training at least 48 hours before the kick-off of the event.
- The technical assistance zone needs to be marked on the course.
- Other terrains to add are forest tracks, road sections, fields, gravel or rough path, steep, and hill.
- Paved roads can be included. But they should not exceed 15%.
- Further, mass-starting zone with a minimum width of 6 meters.
Part 5: Qualification Process for the Mountain Bike Olympic
Mountainbike Olympics is an event for the best professional riders. Hence, making it to the main stage of the competition is a stellar feat to celebrate. Below are a few things to note on the procedure for qualification:
- Men and women above the age of 23 can receive nomination if they obtained a minimum of 20 UCI points in the UCI individual reference ranking.
- Further, the national federations in different countries too may nominate six riders per category. The process differs from one country to another.
- Being part of a UCI Elite MTB team could also attract qualification for the Olympic.
Part 6: Conclusion
Passion is the fuel of success. If you are a rider, participating in the Olympic MTB will be a great feat to achieve. What is important is to commit yourself to training. You need to build stamina, strength, skills, and courage to face your fears. The people who win, are those who make an attempt. The Olympic mountain biking is an important sports event that has come to stay.