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Olympic Mountain Bike Test Event - 1

Laoshan/Pékin, China, September 22, 2007


Sauser and Liu win Olympic test race in Beijing

By Sue George

Olympic mountain bike hopefuls previewed the 2008 course in Beijing in extremely hot and moist conditions. Racers were invited from the top ten-ranked nations in the UCI's mountain bike standings. Chinese organizers showed they had the course, security, and associated logistics dialed in, but what was remarkable about the event was the large number of drop-outs; the smoggy, humid, hot air took its toll. Only eight men and about half the women's field finished the full race.

Reigning marathon world champion, Christoph Sauser, of Switzerland took home top honors ahead of Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) and Nicolas Carlos Coloma (Spain). On the women's side, Ying Liu (People's Republic of China) took full advantage of being on home turf. She rode to victory ahead of Sabine Spitz (Germany) and Lene Byberg (Norway).

Finishing second was a great relief to Brentjens who hasn't had a great season so far in 2007. "This course really suits me, I'm looking forward to training hard this winter and preparing for my last Olympics." Brentjens, who won bronze at the 2004 Games, was happy with the track, about which he said, "The course has small steep climbs and not to technical descents, also a good course for 'power' riders like me.

American rider and recently crowned singlespeed world champion Adam Craig commented in a written report after the race on the polluted conditions. "I don't drop out of races in my backyard, let alone ones I fly to the other side of the world for...but I did this one. I had no option. After two laps (about 25 minutes) of riding very comfortably with the lead group up and down the short, steep pitches of Lashan Mountain...and thinking I could probably attack whenever I wanted and win for a while, my lungs stopped working.

"It started with a routine deep breath on a descent to recover a bit, which produced a sharp pain and fit of hacking," said Craig, "then progressed rapidly to a state where I was unable to take more than one quarter of a breath, even that producing coughing, hacking, spitting up all sorts of gross stuff and feeling nauseous..."

Craig reported that the Chinese have been closing factories, taking cars off the road and experimenting with a cloud-seeding program to wash the particulate matter from the skies in a effort to reduce the pollution.

The 2004 Olympic Games were won by Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) and Julien Absalon (France).


Elite men, 40 km

1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)                                  2.11.53 (18.197 km/h)
2 Bart Brentjens (Netherlands)                                       2.13
3 Nicolas Carlos Coloma (Spain)                                      3.56
4 Kashi Leuchs (New Zealand)                                         5.34
5 Kenji Takeya (Japan)                                               6.36
6 Cedric Ravanel (France)                                            7.26
7 Bas Peters (Netherlands)                                          10.13
8 Todd Wells (United States Of America)                             16.40
9 Chun Hing Chan (Hong Kong, China)
10 Zhiqiang Duan (People's Republic of China)
11 Xiaojun Shao (People's Republic of China-Gansu)
12 Haitao Zhang (People's Republic of China)
13 Ping Qin (People's Republic of China-Gansu)
14 Marcus Roy (New Zealand)
15 Pengda Jiao (People's Republic of China-Gansu)
16 Jianhua Ji (People's Republic of China)
17 Yilin Liu (People's Republic of China-Shandong)
18 Zheliang Wu (People's Republic of China-Shandong)
19 Jiajun Wang (People's Republic of China-Hebei)
20 Shengjian Dai (People's Republic of China-Yunnan)
21 Qiang Guo (People's Republic of China-Hebei)
23 Weisong Tong (People's Republic of China-Yunnan)
22 Stanley Jalip Jr. (Malaysia)
25 Bowen Hou (People's Republic of China-Zhejiang)
24 Phat Bui Quang (Vietnam)
27 Minglang Wang (People's Republic of China-Beijing)
26 Biao Yang (People's Republic of China-Yunnan)
28 Loc Phung Khac (Vietnam)
DNF Julien Absalon (France)
DNF Christopher Jongewaard (Australia)
DNF Jean-Christophe Peraud (France)
DNF Rudi Van Houts (Netherlands)
DNF Sidney Taberlay (Australia)
DNF Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
DNF Adam Craig (United States Of America)
DNF Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain)
DNF Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (United States Of America)
DNF Ralph Naf (Switzerland)
DNF Mohd Hafiz Rozli (Malaysia)
DNF King Man Tsui (Hong Kong, China)
DNF Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spain)
DNF Feng Han (People's Republic of China-Hebei)
DNF Daniel Mcconnell (Australia)
DNF Jia Jin (People's Republic of China-Shanxi)
DNF Shufeng Zhang (People's Republic of China-Shanxi)
DNF Jubao Cai (People's Republic of China-Zhejiang)

Elite women, 28 km

1 Ying Liu (People's Republic of China)                           1.45.54 (15.864 km/h)
2 Sabine Spitz (Germany)                                             1.24
3 Lene Byberg (Norway)                                               1.34
4 Georgia Gould (United States Of America)                           2.38
5 Jingjing Wang (People's Republic of China)                         3.36
6 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland)                                         5.07
7 Catharine Pendrel (Canada)                                         5.26
8 Anna Szafraniec (Poland)                                           5.44
9 Magdalena Sadlecka (Poland)                                        6.21
10 Chengyuan Ren (People's Republic of China)                        9.29
11 Willow Koerber (United States Of America)                         9.50
12 Rie Katayama (Japan)                                             11.44
13 Wei Fang (People's Republic of China-Shandong)                   19.36
14 Qinglan Shi (People's Republic of China-Yunnan)
15 Thanh Huyen Nguyen Thi (Vietnam)
16 Zhen Zhen (People's Republic of China-Zhejiang)
17 Dam Nguyen Thanh (Vietnam)
18 Yu Xin (People's Republic of China-Zhejiang)
DNF Rosara Joseph (New Zealand)
DNF Kiara Bisaro (Canada)
DNF Sheju Mei (People's Republic of China-Yunnan)
DNF Xiaoning Gao (People's Republic of China-Shandong)
DNS Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)