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Five lows from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics

  • By Emily Zinn
  • Published Aug. 28, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM EDT
Marco Fontana coasted through the line on his top tube for the bronze medal after losing his saddle. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

1: Low: Fontana’s mechanical

Early in the men’s race it appeared that the medals had already been decided, but their order wasn’t certain until the line.

Besides a brief interlude when Burry Stander and José Hermida bridged up to the lead group, Jaroslav Kulhavy from the Czech Republic, Swiss Nino Schurter and Italian Marco Fontana led the race together, trading pulls and constantly attacking to no avail.

In the final minutes of the race, the group of three was still tight on each others’ wheels, having been unable to make an attack stick.

The race was shaping up to be a three-way sprint to decide the three medals and hearts were racing as cheers rose through the crowd.

Then, suddenly Fontana was off the back and Schurter and Kulhavy were sprinting for gold.

For those watching on the television, it happened so quickly it was hard to tell what had happened when the Italian dropped off, but a closer look revealed that it wasn’t the Italian that snapped, but his seatpost.

He coasted across the line, seated on his top tube and looking devastated.

The final men’s sprint didn’t lack drama, but that three-way sprint would have been one for the ages.

Stay tuned for the Five highs from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics


Emily 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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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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