The countdown to the London 2012 Olympics is underway. Within a matter of weeks one of the most exciting events, the mountain biking competition, will begin. Take a look below to get a clearer understanding of the format and rules for the upcoming races.
Mountain biking is exciting to watch and easy to follow. The format in London follows as thus: Riders will begin at the starting line according to their qualification times and will race throughout a closed circuit for just under two hours.
The first day will feature the women racing. There will be 30 riders competing in this event. On the following day, the men will take to the course. The medalists will be awarded to riders who cross the finish line first, second, and third, respectively.
Specifically, the racers will take to the course and will be challenged by a number of uphill and downhill portions. The course includes a number of obstacles and sharp turns which will challenge those racers attempting to pass another.
Interestingly, it is common for the judges to make the exact qualifications for winning the day of the race. Riders will be expected to race just under two hours and will make eight or nine laps around the course at Hadleigh Farm, the site of the course, just east of London.
Mountain Biking Rules
The rules for mountain biking are quite simple. Riders may not use any part of their bodies to make contact with their opponents in hopes of slowing them down. Curiously, if an offence is committed, the race is not paused and the offending competitor is informed after the race has been completed. The only time a rider is forced off of the course is if he or she is lapped. In such an instance their day is over.
Mountain biking is physically grueling. The course will often cause damage to the racer's bike. One of the most common delays is a flat tire sometimes called a pinch-flat. The course contains what is known as a Technical Zone which is similar to a pit-stop in auto racing. This is where the repairs are made to the bike. However, no assistance is allowed to the rider as they are required to make any repairs without assistance.
Throughout the course the officials keep a close eye on the racing both on the trail and in the Technical Zone. These officials are known as commissars.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mountain biking