Five lows from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics

  • By Emily Zinn
  • Published Aug. 28, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM EDT
Canada's Pendrel went in as the favorite, but struggled to finish 9th. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |

4. Low: Unlucky day for the Canadian women

Some days the race just doesn’t come together, and for Catharine Pendrel, the hands-down favorite for Olympic gold, that day was August 11, 2012.

The Canadian women’s team led the international UCI ranking in 2011 and boasted the World Cup winner, Pendrel.

With three women in the top 10 of the World Cup and only two slots available for the London team, the Canadian team denied 2004 silver medalist Marie-Helene Premont a slot in London, even though she finished the World Cup in eighth place, in favor of Emily Batty, who was sixth in the World Cup.

On paper, a medal for Canada seemed like an obvious outcome from the race, and with the most World Cup wins of any woman this year, Pendrel was hard to bet against for the gold.

To everyone’s surprise, Pendrel did not pose a threat to the outcome of the medals, barely holding onto ninth place.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Pendrel said after the race. “I didn’t have any bike issues. Normally I am really aggressive and out of the saddle and attacking. I don’t know if I used up all my energy being excited to race and just didn’t have it today.”

Pendrel’s Canadian teammate Batty finished 24th of the 28 finishers. “My head is not broken. My legs are not broken. My heart is broken,” said Batty after the race.

Tough day at the farm for Canadians Pendrel, Batty >>

« Previous Next »

FILED UNDER: Cross Country / MTB TAGS: / / / / / /

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn spent her infancy in the back of a women's team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.

Stay updated on all things VeloNews

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews newsletter