Five lows from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics

  • By Emily Zinn
  • Published Aug. 28, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM EDT
Defending gold medalist Julien Absalon pulled out of the race early. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |

2. Low: Absalon’s DNF

The two-time and defending Olympic champion is still strong, and certainly knows how to rise to the occasion for an important race. Fans eagerly awaited Julien Absalon’s Olympic performance in London to see what he had up his sleeve.

Unfortunately, two tires that held air were not among his assets up that sleeve.

Hearts sunk when the Frenchman flatted early in the race and he pulled out. “It’s the worst possible scenario for me, the one that I thought would be unlikely, a slow puncture in the first lap,” Absalon said after the race.

“I think I even started the race with a slow puncture. It’s the only explanation in my opinion because I didn’t hit anything on the course.

“On the start line I felt the tire and it did feel a little soft, but I told myself it was all in my imagination.”

The imaginations in the crowd had run wild with images of another medal for the Frenchman, but he didn’t get the chance to fight for his title on the Hadleigh Farm course.

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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.

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