BBC Two: Day 16: 13.15-15.35 Olympics

BBC Two: Day 16: 13.15-15.35

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Bicycles are built for speed, durability and comfort, with either


full suspension for just front suspension, known as hardtail. In


total, 80 athletes will compete for two gold medals. There are 50


riders in the men's event and 30 in the women's. Each event begins with


a mass start. Starting positions are predetermined by world ranking.


The first to cross the line wins the gold medal. Each lap of the


course is 4.7 kilometres long. Each race takes a minimum of 90 minutes


to complete. During the race, the riders are presented with optional


routes. The more direct and dangerous A route or at the safer


but considerably slower B route. Into tall riders will climb 1204


metres in the men's race. -- in total. It is 1032 metres in the


women's race. If you like to get involved in Olympic sports, go to


the BBC website for more information.


This course is undeniably tough going for the athletes. It is an


endurance race but they have to spread. They have to be tactical


and gutsy. It is also tough going for the bicycles. Yes, it is. It is


a man-made obstacle course and the obstacles are made up of rocks and


boulders, literally boulders. It will be costly if they fall. They


are carbon-fibre frames and if they hit one of them side on, it could


be the end of the race. They get a puncture, they can repair it


themselves but if there is something more serious, then there


is a technology zone. Yes. If they have another problem then they have


to get round to the technical zone. If they are on the other side of


the course, they have to run the bicycle around and that is the only


place they can do it. By they have to finish on a bicycle that they


started on? Yes, at the core bicycle cannot be changed. But you


can make minor repairs. I think personally mountain biking is where


marginal gains started. They are obsessed with equipment. Large


wheels, weight, because the weight is everything in mountain-biking.


The frames that we are seeing are arriving without paint to lose 60


grams. I have lost out of a number of people that think that red paint


is the heaviest. I suffer from terminal sarcasm. Red paint is not


the heaviest. That could be a complete fake but one thing he is


not lying about is that if you fall off, it really hurts. I can vouch


Posh! -- push. Can you see that rock? That is unbelievable.


have that, which is horrendous. think that I am hard Benali but


this is not helping. The fear factor is that you start to shake.


The really scary obstacles. It is a tough sport. I imagine that is why


it is addictive. The buzz you get is really good and that is why


people come back to it. Come to the middle and end for the outside of


this turn. You are shaking! The feeling you have got now is no


different to what the athletes experience. Nervous, the first day


on an Olympic course, they want to get it right. You need to let the


bike ride. It is like a roller- coaster, it never quite stops,


always flowing. OK, let's do this! Nice and slow. Let it roll. Are you


all right? Yes. We got over it! I want to do it again. Really? I want


to get it right. Where my own worst times and I done similar things to


Obviously, I make that looks spectacularly difficult. Remember,


as yesterday proved, the nation is hanging on your every word. Is


there something you would do? a really nasty course. I generally


deal with crashes by closing my eyes and hasn't worked out too well


for me in the past so I would be a danger to myself and everybody else


for supper how does this course compare? You tend think of mountain


biking happening here. The boulders and rocks have been planted on the


course. Not embedded, so we can see the difficulty, and the open nature


has let us see it on television very well. 500 tons of rock have


been used on this course and after the Olympics it will be open to the


public so anybody at home thinking they could do that, well, you will


be able to do that. The women's race was here yesterday and today


it's the turn of the men. Liam Killeen is going for Team GB. Sadly


he's not one of the hot favourite. No, he isn't. 5th was his best


result at the Olympic Games last time. He had a crash. He will have


to go some way to recover that type of form. Having said that, he's in


really good shape at the moment so fingers crossed for him but I think


we are looking at Julian Absolom, why think is the best. That could


be his third gold. Yes, he has been beaten this year. For me, I think


that experience might shine through today. Whatever happens here this


afternoon, this has proved a fantastic place to showcase the


sport. Some of the hardest race and you will see is a mountain biking.


The riders are lining up. A very, very close field here. A fantastic


start. She is going to be very, very happy. This is exactly the


start she wanted here. The USA and France pushing. Such a fast ascent


are there for some very, very interesting race so far. USA. She


is stretching it now and keeps getting more and more comfortable


as the race goes on. Along the way on at the moment. She is setting an


incredible pace here. She's really struggling it right now. You can


see the war of attrition is starting to take its toll. Gritting


her teeth, and got stuck in. She is desperate to claim the silver medal.


This woman has been emphatic, almost an hour-and-a-half now, she


has dominated this race. Don't take any risks now. You have got this


one in the bag. She's really starting to thump at the pedals


there. She's having the right of her life, the young American. It's


not over by any means. Such an incredible pace here. A huge lead


now, and she is starting to drive that bite. The battle now is for


bronze and silver. -- bike. The perfect race for the USA. She is


blowing kisses. The first a British rider since 2002 qualifiers. We'll


be hearing a lot more about her. I'm joined by her and the last now,


who finished 8th yesterday. People are getting so excited about you


because you are the real Olympic event to go here in the first place,


the only person chasing points, so to get a place for the nation you


had to race so much in the run-up to this, didn't you? For the past


two years, every race has had Olympic qualification points, so I


spent two years chasing points, doing lots of racing trying to get


results to get a place to race here. You came in here in great form. Was


Definitely. The crowd yesterday was absolutely incredible. Such an


amazing experience. I'm really happy with my race, as well, and I


gave it everything and put myself in the race from the start which is


what I wanted to do. I died of a bit at the end they did all I could.


That's all I could say I'm really happy. I owe you an apology because


I stuck his microphone and your nose yesterday and you're desperate


for a drink, so thank you for talking to us. Your grandparents


live here so were the watching you? Yes, and Dale 10 minutes away from


the course and they had been excited. -- they live 10 minutes


away from the course. Loads of my family and friends came down and


get tickets. It's great to be able to do an Olympic race in front of


that many people who support you. All the way through the race


yesterday, Chris Boardman said, technically, you're one of the best


in the world. You took the hardest and fastest line through the race


but physically, you can work on that because it's an endurance race


what lends itself to the older riders. Yes, definitely. Especially


in the women's race, it is like the older riders, because it's almost


like an endurance thing, you have to have the ability to do lots of


powerful efforts repeatedly, so the older women definitely seem to be


to do it. Yet, a few more years. will watch you in at Rio with our


fingers crossed. Liam Killeen is behind us. You have been sharing a


house with him, how has he? He's in great shape. A physically, he looks


in really good shape, so if it all goes right today, I think he will


have a good ride. These big competitions, he always seems to


pour out a good result. He looks happy. And in good shape, so yes.


Has he given you any words of wisdom? Yes, and he so relaxed and


confident and experienced. It's great to be able to learn from


somebody who knows what to do. Yes, it's nice to have someone confident.


Your race is on the final week of the Olympics for the are you going


to get to enjoy the village tonight and the closing ceremony?


Absolutely. We're going to the village for a closing ceremony. Get


a bit of the atmosphere. Fingers crossed you enjoy that tonight and


this course is going to be open to the public after the Olympics but


right now it is time for the men's Olympic event. Liam Killeen going


Olympic event. Liam Killeen going for Team GB. It's time to hand you


up. Three big names we are looking at today. Julian Absolom, reigning


Olympic champion. The 2012 world champion, and then a competitor


from the Czech Republic. All of them are are very, very close in


ability and a lot of people are saying it's going to be incredibly


tight. The Allied been speaking to members of the British team to see


what they think and the jury seems to be out. It's not a wide-open


race but is about 10 people who could take this title. Julian


Absolom, four-times world champion, he could make it three gold medals


in a row. He has been beaten in the intervening four years, but one of


the test event a year ago, and, for me, I think that experience might


shine through. He was so young, 23 Uzzell, -- 23 years old when he won


his first medal and Ben had pressure heaped on him in Beijing.


He's coming here very, very relaxed. They are heading to the start and


this is a very important part of the race. Liam Killeen it is on the


4th row. Close enough to the front. They go around the start Look which


helps to thin it them out a little bit before they go straight up a


climb and on to the first technical section. I think it will be jam-


packed full of people. There will certainly be some crashes. It's


very important, this first couple commentators in giving his 15


seconds to go now. The riders are already putting pressure on the


pedal waiting to get away and they And the Swiss just behind him. They


are very good. Number 18 has just gone down. That was Max from Canada.


He went down and a number of people struggled to get around him. But


the Swiss, what the start for Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel. We did


not know if his team-mates were coming here, possibly to support


him. And there are other factors to take into account. These riders


ride as teams together, so there are lots of alliances that could be


fought. Nino Schurter was a medallist in the last Olympic Games


and he would desperately like to improve on that bronze. Look at the


way he is powering through this straight onto the first climb. They


are just approaching trouble trouble. This is where one of the


favourites failed yesterday. -- Triple Trouble. Nino Schurter is


the first man down it. All of the men are opting for the steeper,


more technical route. It is faster. The couple are going down the


middle and a couple down the easier third route. It keeps them out of


traffic as they fly down here. The test event was held and then they


made some changes. They found that everybody was using the same track,


so now there are three routes on the technical sections, which are


made harder, so you benefit more from taking that risk and having


greater skill. Sometimes it is better to take one of the longer


sections just because of the amount of traffic. You can see why it is


so important to get a good start. Deanes Drop out of the way for the


leaders. Nino Schurter up in front. Right behind him, his country man,


stretch out. It is almost impossible not to if you look at


the nature of the course. They have actually widened it to allow


passing since the tester bed. I don't think anybody is going to get


passed on some of these do sense. Just as I say that, that is exactly


what happened! I think that was the of these rocky sections then


everybody else can be held up and can lose 10 or 15 seconds. It is


hard to recover because there are no flat sections. They either go


down or up. One of the biggest talking points coming into the race


is the size of the wheels. The three big names that women should,


Julien Absalon, Nino Schurter and Harvey, all on different wheel


sizes. -- the three big names that we mentioned. They all have


hardtail, suspended at the rear, and we can see how important that


is. Even in the start look already the pressure is starting to tell.


The South African is quite young and people are expecting big things


from him. We are certainly expecting big things from him, one


of the pre-race favourites, for sure. 29 inch wheels is the new


fashion in the sport of mountain biking. They go faster over the


rough terrain. They don't go down the rocks, they go over them, but


the downside is the extra weight. And that is why you do not want it,


right at the edge, rotational weight. Suspension, too. Some


riders are still choosing to come with a heavier full suspension


bicycles with suspension at the rear as well. One of those is


Jaroslav pull Harvey. He is a monster of a man. -- Jaroslav


Kulhavy. He had a wonderful year in 2011, crushing everybody with solo


victories. Not so dominant this year. The debate around that has


been whether he has been saving himself for the Games. Nino


Schurter's approach has been dedicating the entire year to


getting his bike and his fitness in the right place to get this gold


medal. I was just speaking to Annie Last from Great Britain a few


moments ago. A lot of these riders, their job is to be very fit for a


whole year. In an Olympic year does about peaking at one -- it is about


peaking at one specific moment. That is a fantastic shot. You can


see how strong at the field is already. Big gaps already. -- how


guys at the front are riding flat out now. There is just so much


pressure. You talk about the stress and the strain on the bikes. This


speed, this terrain, at any moment a puncture can happen. It is very


likely. Undoubtedly two or three people will suffer punches


throughout this. If it happens in the top group, there is only one


place that you can stop, the technical zone. If you are 20


metres past it, you have got to go round. You cannot go backwards into


it. Yesterday in the women's race, we saw riders walking with bicycles


that were punctured. They have to get them round to the other side of


the course. I think it is all over if you have a major problem and you


cannot fix it yourself. These riders to take small canisters to


reinflate their tyres if they punter. They have a substance in it,


liquid latex, which seals small punctures, but on a case like this,


they will normally be pinched punctures, long as splits, and they


Schurter in second. Italy in 5th, Poland in 6th, Julien Absalon in


8th place at the moment. Manuel Fumic is an interesting prospect.


He is 9th in the rankings but he was really fighting for the bronze


medal in Beijing and he just missed out. He knows that he is capable


and top 10 in the world rankings says that the 31 year-old German is


definitely in the race. He was swapping turns on the front a few


moments ago with Nino Schurter. We can expect to see him on good form


today with Olympic experience already behind him. They are out on


the road, overlooking Canvey Island. That looks like a big move from


Jaroslav Kulhavy. He pushed his way out in front. Jaroslav Kulhavy was


not sure whether to go for hardtail or full suspension, having the


choice of both. Most riders have gone for hardtail despite the rocky


course because of the hilly nature, wanting to save some word. The Leap


of Faith, the long drop into the flat Derbyshire gritstone that has


been imported, 500 tons of it. 3500 tons, crushed. With this weather it


is a really difficult course with lots of loose stone on top of it.


It would be totally different if it was wet. This is very much about


technical skill and the ability to keep the pressure on all the time.


You get some riders that are very skilful, not necessarily the best


physically. They get to a car on the downhill sections while other


people are catching up. -- they get to recover. Here it is non-stop all


of the way. You can see how robust the bicycles have got to be. They


drive them over those rocks. Some of those Raynesway just 500 grams,


less than a bag of sugar, and they can take a pounding like that. --


some of those frames away 500 grams. They make it look so smooth. Into


the Breath Taker, the biggest climb on the course. Nino Schurter are


leaving, Jaroslav Kulhavy in second. -- Nino Schurter leading. You have


been looking into the potential for single rings. It looks like a lot


of the riders... Hold that thought. You can see the potential damage is


horrendous on the rocks. We have seen the view the riders get


through the Roock Garden and there is a route but it is less than one


foot right. If you get it right, it is straight through but if it is


wrong, it is a disaster. It is not falling on to soft pine needles. It


is a harsh penalty for making a mistake. Lots of these riders have


dropped one chain will on their crack. You have only got 11 years.


-- 1 chain wheels on their crank. You have only got 11 peers. Every


gram of weight is important. They are going at slow speeds, less than


30 mph, so it is about the power- to-weight ratio. They will save


every ground they can. Some people have come a cropper. Julien Absalon


is a long way down, which is quite a surprise. We have seen him do


this before, letting the others fight it out. It was the same in


the women's rice with that parade - in the women's race with that


courageous start by Annie Last. If you go too fast then it does start


to tell. I think it was Manuel Fumic who went down then. No. 7.


Difficult over the rocks. You have to get it absolutely right.


Otherwise they are struggling over that section. Very interesting. I


think some of the Spanish are starting to move. They were


critical of the course when it was released but after the changes,


they have apologised. Lots of people have said it is one of the


best Olympic courses ever constructed. I think it is the best


that I have seen. I have witnessed a few and tried some out, but this


one from every aspect, it is what they call a short course format,


the five kilometres loop. It was introduced to give more value for


money to the customer, really, the spectators. The laps. I think they


will be 13 minutes long, give or take. They get to see the riders a


lot and without the trees, you can stand at one vantage point and the


70% of the course, which is very unusual. It has allowed us to bring


these fantastic images because we have great camera access. This very


short, steep drop into the start arena. Still very close. Not much


distance between each rider. Jaroslav Kulhavy makes a little


Schurter. It is quite a gap back to the others. We are surprised to see


Julien Absalon so far back. Looking at the top of our screens, they are


coming in front of us now, probably 20 seconds back. Very much all to


play for, but he would not want to be in this position. These three


have got clear daylight. When you know just how powerful two of those


riders are, as well. The Italian, Marco Fontana, moving very well. A


couple of people have talked about Killeen of Great Britain as well.


He is known to be a steady start and he works his way back through


the field. Just coming in front of us now. He loves the challenge. In


24th, 44 seconds off the pace at the moment. I think he will improve


on that as the race goes on. It is manner we mistook for Julien


Absalon is actually Tempier. Julien Absalon is actually in 27th. It


looks like there is something up with his bicycle, already. We will


have to seize and images of that because he's one of the most


consistent guys in the world. There must be because of some kind of


misapprehension. Maybe he's a punter. -- At the puncture. He is


sitting in second. The Spaniard, just behind him. I think we had a


we will see some riders pulled out of this race. They will be


enforcing the 80% rule. The first full lap. Take that time. Anybody


more than 80% of that behind will be pulled out of the race. They


don't want any interference with the bottom of Dean strop. We can


hear that over the public announcement system here. Let's see


if we can get some replay images of that. He's trying to close the gap


on the top three. He looks in control, as well. Jaroslav Kulhavy.


The expression on his face is not have some body absolutely on the


limit. A bit of puffing and blowing from Fontana. I spoke to the


grandfather of European cross- country mountain biking and he said


his nasal passages have been drilled earlier in the air so he


can get more oxygen into it. It is an extreme sport, really. Mountain


bikers are the kings of detail. There's not an answer fat on them


because everything they had got to carry, they are weight obsessed


its 90-100 mm of travel. A slightly harder than they normally would to


cope. Very rocky technical sections. As they come off are those, it's


very odd. I have not come across that until recently. Very, very


unnerving, I'd imagine, to get used to the feeling. And the idea you


only have a bar down one side of the wheel. It doesn't look right at


think this is my favourite cycling shot of the Games. Phenomenal.


Snake Hole. It gives you a good idea of how the fielders spaced. --


the field is spaced. At 20,000 station. A little bit of a gap over


Fontana and they will spot that. He just wasn't quite on the wheel.


They will look to exploited where they can. The three of them are


inch wheel. The 650 be, as it's known. The 29 inch wheel, Jaroslav


Kulhavy is riding. They come out of a section for the second time on


Barry Stander. They come back towards the rock garden. Barry


Stander, just 24, the under 23 world champion in 2009. He came


15th in Beijing. That is Liam Killeen and it looks like he's out


of the race. He's not getting up in a hurry. Holding his ankle, by the


looks of it there. That is the day over for Britain's Liam Killean,


such is the hazards of mountain biking. We have seen it broken


bones in training, so not for the faint-hearted. It will be open to


the public after this but they will be taking out a lot of the Bill did


sections. It also will be a challenging course, though. --


little bit. They have been pegged at the same distance, so it's not


over yet. These three will not walk away with this. Jaroslav Kulhavy


knew was going to be a fast start and made reference to it. He said


it was going to be so, so hard to keep the pace up. The that was just


ridiculous. You can see the way they slide their wheels into the


ground. And they're so used to it. Using all of the travel. I can't


ride that quick on tarmac. And then straight into driving up the next


hole. It's a brutal form of racing, isn't it? We were talking yesterday


about the difficult physical characteristics of mountain-bike


riders. They have to be super skinny to be able to cope with the


climbing they have to do. But they're also very powerful. Their


actual top-end power is not massive but in terms of tall, it is equal


to track sprinters we see. -- in terms of speed. Then you put it


together with the technical skill, the battering their body takes over


terrain like this, and you have it. Phenomenal speed carried through


the rock garden there. Six or seven bike lengths ahead, Schurter. On


Tanner on his tail, at his second Olympics. -- Fontana. You can't


afford to give away much distance because they have to drive to catch


back up all the time. Making an effort to bridge the gap. Technical


excellence really pays off on a course like this also a bunny hop


there to get over those big boulders. A slightly quicker line.


has drawn up the back wheel of Schurter back in. Fontana doing so


well to stay with the pack. You can see how big he is in comparison


with Schurter. He's a little bit lighter. You can see the difference


in wheel sizes as they come back past us there. We're talking about


the diameter of the wheel. Barry Stander, not too far behind here.


The left-hand side there, the small pink tassels. The organisers of not


Barry at the whole course. They want to make sure it's accessible


for the public and there cannot -- You can see just how open it is. It


really is great for the spectators. 20,000 tickets sold for the women's


race yesterday. Sold out on both occasions and, with at this weather,


everybody gets their money's worth. We've seen a couple of people,


coming out and doing the Tour de France. Some road cycling. How


difficult is it for them to transfer? It's a tough transition.


A flat tyre. There's nothing he can do about it. Looks like he has no


option but to reinflate. A bit tense to be a split. The self-


sealing fluid in the small canister they carry, just can't cope with


the size of it, so he will have to run his bicycle back to the


technical area to get assistance. He was at the bottom of the hole.


He's got some work to do. I think, on a race like this, it's only an


hour-and-a-half long, he might want to get around to say he's finished


the Olympic mountain bike race and see if he can pick up some places


but, for him, I think it's all over now. But 80% rule being applied,


that's going to be so small on one of these races. He's going to have


to run pretty quick. The Spaniard and the South Africa and are


starting to push hard to join at this lead group. They come into


this last is gentle climate around the Olympic rings. And then they


drop down. On to the finish line. de France and then the Olympics a


few weeks later. It's quite a change of pace, isn't it? Mountain


bikers tend to be the very best athletes, and we can see why.


Jaroslav Kulhavy just took a little look back but I think there is a


threat from a Barry stand-off. He has gone from 16 seconds on the


last lap. He has shaved six seconds off. He is gently applying pressure.


He has the experience, doesn't he? You have got to pace yourself like


this. You can't go into the red. He has lots of experience. 24 years of


age. The champion in 2009. The World Cup this year. Patiently


working his way up the ranks. His British coach at him down as his


dark horse for the race. He wanted to see what he could do. At the


moment, it is two of the three big names who are thrown around which


league this race. Jaroslav Kulhavy from the Czech Republic. He is a


big man with a lot of power. He is just holding a lead over the Swiss


rider, Nino Schurter. He took a bronze in Beijing. Julien Absalon


is the man to beat in London 2012. He knew how good he would become.


We haven't seen sight of him yet, actually. We will have to keep an


eye out for you. He was clearly having problems in the race. It's


not physical form, that's for sure. You said he came through the line


are looking at his bike. They are using at the flat to quickly take a


drink. 90 minutes of racing. They have got to stay on top of their


hydration. They will pick up a bottles and a technical zone. They


weren't Carrie what they need for the race because it will weigh them


down. -- they won't carry what they need. Sometimes they will squeeze


it over their heads and legs, as well. Over low speeds, they don't


cool down. We've just had confirmation now the that Julien


Absalon, we have lost at the reigning Olympic gold medallist.


Number 48, didn't start the race, the German, Robert Forstemann. One


of the biggest, be fierce to buy cried as you have ever seen. He


rides for less than a minute. He disciplines. Hermida driving up.


Liam Killean, two ride is unfortunately not finishing. -- two


riders. I think that is effectively the end of his Olympic career. Lots


of young talent coming up behind. A solid bike rider in the sport for


many years now. I'm not sure he will manage to maintain his


position as number one through to haven't they? And they have been


able to have a breather. Two behind, this is not confirmed, but there is


a suspected broken ankle for Liam Killean, so a very sad end to his


day. Our thoughts are with him. Not a great way to finish your Olympic


career. It's just the nature of the mountain bike race, fast and


furious. These things happen, and this course, more than any other


Olympic course I have seen, is very, very technically demanding. It's


one of the things you find with a lot of sports like this. They make


it look so easy that you don't remember how difficult it is. But


you only need one injury like that, something very small goes wrong,


normally if you make a technical mistake, and it is a natural course,


then you run off and hit the ground and maybe there is gravel, grass,


pine needles and you have a chance of getting away with it. Because it


is completely man-made here, it is all stone. Every obstacle has been


brought in. We have said it before already, it is very unforgiving.


You get it right, you fly over it, that is why there have been


commenting that it is very fast. But people have linked fast with


being easy. It is anything but. you said before, absolutely


relentless. Jaroslav Kulhavy just making a move on Nino Schurter.


Through the Rabbit Hole. Underneath the course, out of the technical


zone. You can see Nino Schurter just out of the saddle. A couple


more cranks to get his speed up. He is right on Jaroslav Kulhavy's


wheel. It is probably the end of Julien Absalon's career now. An


incredible record. The four times World Champion, looking for his


third Olympic title. It was not to be. His day is over. It is almost


certainly the end of an era of French domination in Men's mountain


biking at least. They took the gold medal yesterday. I think it was the


French Martinez who won in 2000 and then Julien Absalon has had 2004


and also 2008, and it was only introduced in 1996. Their new


nation will be celebrating almost certainly at the end of today. -- a


new nation. He led the French team well. He has said he will race for


another two years professionally and he has signed those contracts


already but he expects this to be his last Olympic Games. The Leap of


Faith for the leading group now. Flying down that. You come off one


of the huge drops and you are straight into another climb. Look


at the confidence that takes. You can see that slow-motion shot,


showing why they have such hard suspension. If they bottom out,


they tip the weight forward and it can make you go over the top. Extra


hard suspension today. They are all using remote lock out as well,


worth mentioning. You can see the suspension systems. There is a


button on the handle, it sometimes electronic, normally hydraulic, and


it looks it out. You get out of the saddle to drive up the climb so you


do not get that bobbing effect and then they can a market for the


rocky section. As soon as it starts bobbing it is soaking up energy.


they can a market for the rocky seem to be following in each


other's tracks. I think it is amazing that you can find these


bicycles that take this battering and still way so little. They are


about �93 macro in -- 93 pounds in Schurter has focused everything he


has got on this Olympics. It is the one thing missing for him. He wants


this so desperately. A lot of these riders have said... Well, the World


Championships have been compared to to the Pulitzer Prize and the


Olympics are like the Oscars. You get the recognition of your peers


but the recognition from the wider world for the Olympics. That is


what Nino Schurter is chasing today. Two men on his tail are making it


very difficult, Jaroslav Kulhavy, pushing him so hard. This is where


we are going to see the pain barrier kicking in. Burry Stander


is closing that gap, I think. That shot does fall short on the


distances but I think those two will get back in touch. Those five


are going to make the group from which, barring incident or injury,


always a possibility and mountain- bike racing, the winner will come


from. Lest we forget, Julien Absalon almost fell on the final


lap of the Beijing race. It was very lucky that he recovered from


that. He took the gold medal. It can happen to anyone, as we have


said. Punctures are very common. We have already seen it with Julien


Absalon. There are no guarantees, just because you are riding quickly,


and you have clear space at the front, that it will not happen to


you. There is that gap between the three leaders and the chasers. It


looks bigger because they are going so fast. As soon as they start to


go slow, it really condenses down. They come through the technical


section and grab another bottle. They grab another bottle every lap


to put over their legs and their head to keep cool and to take a


couple of sips, but they are straight into that climb so they


have to be so quick. Often they will put it in the bottle cage and


wait until the top. Nino Schurter is also one of the riders in the


vanguard with the single front rim. It is a risky thing to do. You are


taking the gears that you need and absolutely no spares at all. If you


have got your gear selection wrong, there is a head wind, something


that changes the dynamics, then you have nowhere else to go. It is a


courageous move. They will save a few grams in weight, for sure, that


is the main reason. It also makes the bike simpler. They have right


handed gear changing and that is it. What are pm on are looking to


sustain? -- revolutions per minute are they looking to sustain?


Something very high, so that if they hit a bolder they can get out


of it. 70-90 is typical. Fantastic closing of the gap now by far


Hamida. I think this gap is closing remarkably as we come into the end


of the lap. -- Jose Hermida. Jose Hermida has been working hard to


close that gap. Burry Stander is very much his junior, aged 24. He


got a silver medal in 2004, and we have to remember that it is his 4th


Olympic Games. He has been around at this level of competition for a


long time. Burry Stander is the newcomer, forcing his way in. We


also have to focus on the fact that he has close that gap. Burry


Stander could have been with his group from the start and he could


have been pulling away by 16 seconds. It will be interesting to


see what happens next. He is trying to get right to the front. Very big


move by Burry Stander. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter recognise


that, just closing the door a little bit on him as they start to


climb towards Triple Trouble. An interesting race is developing.


I think this is the group where we will see the medals contested. The


speed that they are going out, with half a lap to go, you would think.


Burry Stander will wait for an opportunity. They have changed the


course since the test events and they have made more opportunities


for passing. I think he will be taking advantage of those, Burry


Stander. He is popping up like a baddie in a horror movie. It


probably gave Nino Schurter and Jaroslav Kulhavy a fright. Looking


at the top 10 as they come through, Jaroslav Kulhavy leading, Nino


Schurter in second. Burry Stander I think, actually, in second now.


Jaroslav Kulhavy in third. Marco Fontana, Jose Hermida, Stephane


Tempier of France, but there is a gap after him. Florian Vogel from


Switzerland has dropped right back, 46 seconds off the pace. Carlos


Coloma of Spain, one minute back in 13th with Geoff Kabush. I think


that Burry Stander is the stand-out in this race. He has been so


consistent this year. All of them taking that gap John for the riders


left of that truth. -- jump for the riders left of that tree. We saw


that slight tailback, a blockage, as somebody went down. That is a


reason why it has taken a while to get to this front group and it


costs energy. It would have been a different race if he had been here


from the start. In the women's race, the start was not very important


and the people that drove it of paid the price later. Julie Bresset


took some time to come through. But in the men's race it is totally


different. They have driven it from the start. Burry Stander has done


quite a few long-distance endurance marathon races. The epic through


South Africa. He knows what it is to go through pain on a daily basis.


Much shorter sprint if you can call it that. We are looking for a time


somewhere between an hour and 30 minutes and 45 minutes.


Interestingly the races are dictated by time and not distance.


They look at what they think the lap time will be and they want to


make the race into an hour-and-a- half or as close as. The men are


flying round here. When I heard that there would be 30 minutes for


each lap, I thought that was pushing it. -- 13 minutes. They


have hardly slowed down, they are flying round. Just shy of 39


minutes. They are actually under the 13 minute mark now they have


why you have to be so careful to place your effort, you cannot just


sit back in the pack. You cannot just recover and come back in the


Sprint. It is just so physical. If you start to fade, it will be


picked up spray to -- straight away. The race has spread out and it is


now totally defined by the first five now. You will say at the


switchback that they will be able to see the rest of the field below


them. I have looked at the split times and positioning, and Burry


Stander at the first split, the first half of the first lap, back


in 19 position. He has had a courageous fightback from very low


down in the field. He has done a fantastic job. The question is how


much it has cost him. As we came back to the start and finish area,


he tried to drive through to the fore and he was stopped from doing


that. I think Nino Schurter cut him out. It has not taken too much out


of 10 to get back here. Has he been playing a waiting game and will he


just drive back? Alexander Gehbauer is one of the only people in


contention with this top group. You have to say halfway through the


race that the three medallists are within the top five now and they


will know that. He is making an inroad but I don't think it is


because of the crash that held them back. I think they just could not


cope with the starting place. I think it will come from these five.


Two of them will be very disappointed. That man from Spain


is possibly going to be one of them. I don't think when the pressure


goes on the last lap that he will be able to cope with the pace. He


is happy to be here, Jose Hermida, he has done a great job fighting


across that gap, but I am not sure how much more he has got to give as


they go through the Rabbit Hole. One of the older riders, 33, silver


medal in Athens. He was World Champion in 2010, which is no mean


feat. But two years is a long time June. His form is there around the


right time. Only had the one win this year. In Andalusia. Wasn't one


of the mountain world bike Cup, where he was one of the top 10 all


season. You can see an almost full 100 metres there. The lead group


come on to the outside ridge. 15-20 seconds, the gap between them.


Interestingly, you can see Fontana and Jose Hermida starting to drop


away a little bit. Burry Stander. Finally dropped back a bit as they


come down the leap of faith, mountain bike racing, how hard is


it to keep pace? Well, they have a lot of confidence in each other.


They are racing against each other. It the through various other


competitions, as well. They know who are good, physically, and they


trust each other. If so there is a mistake made in front of you,


riding disclose over such terrain, everybody is going down, so there's


a lot of respect between these riders. Another one of those short


fiery Klein's. -- climbs. Nino Schurter seems to have the


advantage. He likes to be in front. He's going neck-and-neck through


the rock garden with Burry Stander. He accelerated through there and a


lot of the riders have been taking this left-hand line. Burry Stander


leading Stephane Tempier in a bunny hop over the last couple of


boulders. A little bit of daylight between Jaroslav Kulhavy and Burry


Stander at the front. He was keen to go straight to the front but


probably thought better of it. OK, I'm going to take a breather.


There's plenty of racing to do. Nino Schurter is better on the


climbing, but not great, technically. He can control the


pace. People have commented on the fact Nino Schurter has been coached


and has inherited the brains and the tactics of the great master.


is playing to his strengths. I think this is the man who could be


his undoing today. Just what it cost him to close the gap, really,


isn't it? Nino Schurter driving up the hill now pushing so hard.


physically, the better, and is using that ability to control the


race. Three-and a-half laps and we are exactly halfway through this


race. He is being blocked by Jaroslav Kulhavy. Jose Hermida. No,


I want to be in second position and control the way this goes. This is


like a lightning fast extremely dangerous game of chess on two


wheels. These guys battling for position, trying to find a way past.


Work out how their energy reserves are going to play, try to measure


when to make their breaks. Burry Stander paid a price for that


little move. An entire group past him and he's now in last position.


Jose Hermida has come off. He's come to an almost complete halt.


it was indecisive, I'm afraid. That is the experience we were talking


about. He committed, he's too close on the wheel and jumped straight


off. Hardly lost any momentum. Again, Burry Stander, having done


so well to get to the front, drops away in a matter of metres. That is


so demoralising for him. He's got to start another sprint. There we


can see Jose Hermida picking up his bicycle. Then stalling in those


rocks. You have got to make a decision. It's a horrible feeling,


isn't it, when you break that rhythm, and suddenly, that lovely


motion you are in his cut-out. Your brain stalls, the bicycle stalls,


but Burry Stander has done the sprint to get back up there but,


like you said before, he is going to struggle. You can't sprint like


that without facing consequences later in the race. Yes, the 20


four-year-old. This is the lesson you will have to learn. They will


review this late race, later on. He is in a fantastic company,


physically in great shape, technically, good. Just the lack of


experience there. He's up again some of the most experienced by


cried as in the world. If this was a transport service, we've had some


disruption on the Burry Stander liner but normal service has


resumed for to Nino Schurter. two years the senior, the South


African. Burry Stander again making the move. Fontana didn't want him


there and closed the door. Nino Schurter taking a quick look back.


Just smooths everything out. Not to important in mountain biking,


controlling the pace. Once you get to the back, you have a concertina


effect, as everybody breaks into it. It was a traffic jam, really. Then


the gap has to be closed up, as you hit the climb ups. He's having


another go. He has been waiting for this section. He made his move at


the end of the third lap and has done it again at the end of the 4th,


Burry Stander. 20 seconds back to those two. They are not out of it


but will have to work hard as we approach an Isle of racing. Bash --


an hour of racing. He's trying to stay with the lead group. Down


through triple trouble as we start to see some of the back markers now


making their way over the line. right-hand side is more technical,


and more quicker line. The left- hand side, I don't think there is


much of a penalty as they should be, so they're going on the left-hand


line almost as quickly as they did the technical section. That first


five still battling it out and then we have got Stephane Tempier and


eight kgs. -- some of these bikes are under 80 kgs. Do you think


there is a weight you can get it down to where it actually starts to


become to light? Current technology, we are about their for mountain-


biking now. If they could go light, you would, but you would then fail


over this testing terrain and start to get failures. They are duelling


at the front. Jaroslav Kulhavy trying to pull away, putting his


foot down. A first at proper attack of the race, I think. Everybody's


chasing so hard. Burry Stander has been pushed so hard to catch up


with this group, came back from 19th place, closed the gap with


Jose Hermida to create this opening five. Fontana and Jose Hermida


starting to feel the pace now. That's what we thought would happen.


The 20 seven-year-old has decided this is the moment in the race


where he's going to see who has got what left and has taken it down to


three, but he, himself, is now paying for that. There is a little


bit of wind on this course and its possible to get some shelter. It's


not insignificant. There is nothing to choose between these riders.


They are all doing here. Throwing anything they can to try to test


the others. Are we going to see a counter-attack from a Nino


Schurter? Getting a drink is so important. You have got to take


every opportunity to get some fluids on board. Of forget that one,


and it will hit your performance so quick. All of the bottles are


picked up by spectators as souvenirs. They are not littering.


What a fantastic thing to get from your day out. Burry Stander, up


such a threat. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter looking so


comfortable at the front. It could be telling that Nino Schurter is


not counter-attacking or pacemaking. Under pressure there. We are


starting to see some daylight climbing as they go back up Snape


Hill. It really has stretched out. More distance into the chase is now.


I think we could count out the Spaniard, as well. Looking further


down, coming around the middle corner there, the third corner, we


have got Stephane Tempier from France, followed by a Alexander


Gehbauer. Closing the gap, the German, Fumic. But back to the


front, Jose Hermida rounding out this leaders Group. It could be the


first time Nino Schurter has not led in this section, actually.


There was a big debate raging, having dominated so convincingly in


at 2011, was he saving himself for this event or off form? A lot of


people think... We do you stand on this? Is it better to peak in the


right spot or like Nino Schurter has, build your form and then


plateau? It's so difficult, actually. We have just watch them


breeze over at the front. It's not so easy at the back. Imagine riding


down there with a flat tyre. A lot of running to do if you haven't had


an issue on this course. Number 44, there. The flag-bearer for Rwanda,


one of only seven athletes here from Rwanda. He was part of the


genocide back in 1994. He was one of seven brothers. His other six


brothers were killed. It's a phenomenal achievement. Just for


him to be here. A historic day here at Hadleigh Farm. Looking at these


intermediate times, Jaroslav Kulhavy, one second ahead of Nino


Schurter. Two seconds ahead of Burry Stander and four seconds


ahead of Jose Hermida. It gives you an idea of how close those first


five are. We can say, together, they are giving each other some


space in the technical sections. I would say Jose Hermida is looking a


bit better now than in the latter part of the race. He had a bad


section about 40 minutes ago, when he was really hanging. He has got


endurance and that will be a factor in the last part of this race.


section before this was the leap of faith. We saw them carrying so much


speed on to that rock landing, but then they will pull it in instantly.


They have a 110 degree turn. Sorry, 100 made degree turn, just to get


there. -- 180 degree turn, just to get there. We haven't been talking


too much about Fontana, actually. He has overhauled Burry Stander.


Burry Stander is really slowing and he has fallen back again, Crow


drink, as they come to the rock garden. -- Jaroslav Kulhavy.


Fontana, we haven't spoken too much about him. He is quietly following


in the slipstream. He has had some good rides this year. The Italian


national mountain bike champion, of course. He could, be peaking just


the right time. So much great physical and psychological


exchanges in the front of this group are now. Nino Schurter and


Jaroslav Kulhavy have not let him get away with anything and now


Jaroslav Kulhavy is at the front, desperate to make sure Nino


Schurter knows how strong he is. They have sensed some weakness and


hope to bring this group then further. Burry Stander has had to


fight for would to get there. He looks so good, just two laps to go,


closing the gap, but to it will cost him. Making their way up the


hill, named by local kids, the better take care. -- breathtaking.


between Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter. And Marco Fontana just


came out of the track! Look how fast he recovered that. He was just


out of sight when he slid. We were just talking about keeping


attention on the course. An hour- and-a-half of intense concentration.


He just overlapped his will but look how fast he recovered. That is


mountain-bike racing. They used to having issues all the time and they


get very good at managing them. -- they are used to having issues.


Just before that, we saw Nino Schurter's will almost touching


Jaroslav pull Harvey. -- wheel almost touching Jaroslav Kulhavy's.


He pushed his bike backwards and that is what did for Marco Fontana.


They are coming up the back of the Breath Taker. There are probably


less than 60m before they hit the climb. So if you feel that you have


time to take a couple of mouthfuls of water, you have to carry the


bottle to the top of the climb before you can do anything


meaningful. Jaroslav Kulhavy leads Nino Schurter with Marco Fontana


just behind. A big gap now between those leading 3 and Burry Stander.


I think Jose Hermida has fallen right off the pace. He is pushing


it and I think he has been pushing to stay with the group so well. He


is still not out of it. We are seeing a shake-up as we move into


the last half an hour of racing. These three are starting to emerge


as the medal favourites. Burry Stander got caught behind that


crash earlier on and I think that has done for him. The start is


proving so important in the men's race. At the moment there is no


sign of Jose Hermida. There is almost a 100m gap. Jaroslav Kulhavy


has the biggest gap that he has had so far. It is maybe 1.5 or two


seconds. If he can keep the pressure on now, then he seems to


have Nino Schurter in a spot of bother. He is the only ride on a


full suspension bike. It is a choice. The suspension does not


really help them over the big, rocky, technical sections. It is


actually the rough sections where they are able to sit down. On the


big sections they are out of the saddle, on their legs. When it is


rocky, you have to be out of your saddle more and you get a pounding.


Full suspension can give you a bit of arrest. Jaroslav Kulhavy is


getting a bit of a lewd, two seconds, but nothing to speak of. -


- a bit of a lead. They ary Stander cannot come back from that. He has


the face of our man who is setting in. I think that third lap probably


cost him everything and there is no way he is doing that twice.


toll this has taken on Jose Hermida. He is 25 seconds back. And Marco


Fontana has done very well. He has almost turned himself into the grey


man of the group. He was almost invisible. He did not try anything


drastic. Just watching and waiting. Just knowing his limits. Staying in


the Wales, not using any extra energy, -- the wheels. He is ranked


10th in the world at the moment and he is playing a waiting game. I


think he has pitched it well. He has been their or thereabouts in


the season. We mentioned him on Snake Hill at the start of lap four.


Sorry, the start of lap five. And now he is just behind the Frenchman


Christophe and it will be interesting to see if he can


overtake Jose Hermida. Those three have just gone. Only Burry Stander


is left from that leading group. One hour into the race, this is


always the point where it starts to tell who has gone off too soon and


who is doing more than they can sustain. The third rider back, a


little bit of style from Marco Fontana, kicking the back of the


bike. He cannot help it! Fantastic. Not only is he going to get a medal


but he is doing it in style. It is hard to believe that these three


will be caught now. They have been at the front, pushing away, pushing


away. Two riders have been able to stay with them but nobody has


challenged Marco Fontana. He is happy to sit in third place. He


gets some distance on the physical sections. He looks in control. Nino


Schurter has been working hard and he has been tested but I wonder if


those efforts will pay off. This is a fantastic battle. Jaroslav


Kulhavy and Nino Schurter. Nino Schurter doing some pacemaking.


Jaroslav Kulhavy happy to let him go through. Burry Stander's body


language is saying it all. He is settling in for the long haul to


the finish. Well, the short all now. He may have some company shortly.


It will be interesting to see if we get a glimpse of Manuel Fumic at


Houts. I cannot see what the problem was. I think it might have


been a puncture. His day is over. Manuel Fumic started number seven


and he is now number six. This race spread out so fast. Phenomenal


speed they took off that. There was talk of the two maids working


together outside of their country. -- the team mates. And that is


Marco Fontana! Having been so quiet, look at him go. Jaroslav Kulhavy


just letting them drift away a little bit. You can see brilliantly,


a full switchback between Burry Stander and Jaroslav Kulhavy.


Jaroslav Kulhavy is struggling to get back on. There was talk of some


two maids working together, some collusion in this race, but there


has been no opportunity. -- team- mates. It blew apart instantly but


there was nothing that anybody could do about these three.


Plaxton, the unfortunate Canadian who crashed on the start loop,


finally calling it a day on his race. They have let Marco Fontana


have that little foray up front and now Nino Schurter and Jaroslav


Kulhavy are back where they want to be. That his experience, waiting


for the last minutes of the race. - - that is experience. Now is the


time to start pushing on. Me as the confidence to drink on the move. He


did not get rid of the bottle as quickly as he could have. It will


be interesting to see how many races have actually finished.


the split times, there is nothing between bronze, silver and gold.


Jose Hermida is second behind Burry Stander. The bikes really take a


battering. They do not soften the tyres because that would increase


rolling resistance. If the tyres go too soft to get extra traction,


which is something that might happen in the rain, they will get


more impact punctures. All of the suspension is being done by the


forks. We talked about this yesterday, some of the climbs are


littered with tree routes, which becomes so treacherous in the rain.


Given the nature of the course, some of them will be so pleased


that it is dry. It would change the race completely. The rocks of


smooth boulders so there is hardly any traction on them. That changes


the way that they ride and we could see more crashers, so better for


spectators and riders that we have the weather that we have got.


is probably the closest thing to coasting, a little breather. There


is a strong breeze and it is an Open course. We are in that natural


amphitheatre. There are sections of the course where it is possible to


slip through the riders. You can see the muscle definition here.


They take such a battering. It takes them days to recover. They


have got suspension forks but most of it is done by their muscles.


Even when they are burning down hill, they are working really hard.


Elbows and shoulders working, swinging side to side as they work


up the hill. You think about it being about the legs but there is


so much done by the upper body. Mountain bikers are like swimmers.


They used pretty much every muscle that there is to control the bike


and go up the hills, the suspension for the body over the technical


sections. Rounding the hairpin and down into the garden where we saw


Burry Stander make his move on Nino Schurter. Jaroslav Kulhavy second.


Marco Fontana in third behind Nino Schurter. Looking very comfortable


again. They have all had their turns to put the pressure on. Nino


Schurter is driving on. They are going to get the bell at the end of


this lap. We are into the last third of lap six. It is not


impossible that this will come down to a sprint finish, you know.


an incredible prospect. After this long, what will be almost an hour-


and-a-half of racing, to then spread! I don't know who my money


would be on if this came down to a sprint finish. You have got the big


powerful frame of Jaroslav Kulhavy. Then the rangy, wily Nino Schurter.


Marco Fontana sitting somewhere between the two. Just as powerful


as Jaroslav Kulhavy. With his build, he should not be able to climb like


this, but somehow he does. He has got the speed and the power that a


big man just should not have on the big climbs. These two are resigned.


They are going for the minor places. It is about honour, seeing how high


up they can get in the Olympic mountain bike race. They are stuck.


I think it will be decided between these two. Jose Hermida is back in


touch with the South African. is very son -- Burry Stander's


second Olympics even though he is only 24, Sony has a great platform


to build on for the Rio Games. -- so he has. All of them have had a


go at putting the pressure on but none of them have succeeded. Surely


it will come down to a close finish? But can somebody get any


daylight between them before they their temporary team mates here?


would be a phenomenal prospect if, having pushed so hard, having set


such an incredible pace, this front group now starts to slow down and


do we get a third rally for them to be caught. Somebody has got to


drive for home on the final lap. We saw on the start, crashes at the


start, so coming around this final bend, it's could be who gets there


first on the descent. Tempting not to go wide. Nino Schurter was


popping his front wheel up. Jose Hermida, right on the back of Burry


Stander. A second wind, I think. Burry Stander. The last climb, a


steep little drop into the arena. They roll over the top and down,


carrying plenty of speed. Probably about 15 seconds I would say, the


two chasers now. And they are trying to get back on terms.


think they know the gap is shortening and the front group is


starting to coast a little. Certainly, he has slumped in his


shoulders, his head down a touch, Jaroslav Kulhavy, but he is still


pushing Nino Schurter. There is nothing between them. Burry Stander


and Jose Hermida, not too far behind at all now. They start


driving up the hill. You can see this little dissent here. Whoever


comes around here, is likely to win the Olympic title, so that smaller


climber right here on this finishing a loop could decide


Olympic title. Starting the 7th and final lap with a Nino Schurter


first, Fontana, third. Let's have a look at the split time, 13 seconds.


And they have closed the gap convincingly, taking six seconds


off it, from the halfway point. they are coming back. It's


unbelievable. I think it's because of the three at the front are


thinking about tactics, rather than an driving harder. They have got


just a handful of minutes left before the Olympic title is decided


and they are trying to work out how they can get rid of the other two.


A Jose Hermida makes his move down the steep section. Again, Burry


Stander gets a slap in the face. He's got to drag himself back up.


He has impressed me the most in the sense that his race plan went to


custard, the moment they started, but he has been drawing on his


reserves and somehow kept himself in contention. Nino Schurter really


pushing hard now. I still think Jaroslav Kulhavy looks the best,


physically, from the three. They are so evenly matched. We saw a


mistake made yesterday in that exact spot. Nino Schurter has got


himself a second and a half lead here. He's coming into this longer,


slower sections. Straight back on top of it, isn't he? A little table


top again from Nino Schurter. And Burry Stander. Both having a little


bit of fun. Just checking over her shoulder, is anybody going to join


me? I don't think so. I think you three will have to fight it out.


Fontana is the dark horse. We don't know what else he has had in


reserves. Jose Hermida, with that past, might have had one last whiff


of a medal and managed to draw on the last of his energy to try to


Fontana leaving a little bit of space there. You can see why. He


left himself some room to manoeuvre through that centre technical


section. Driving away. Jaroslav Kulhavy, no expression on his face


at all, not giving anything away. I think he's waiting for a sprinter.


He has a heavy a bike with full suspension. These two, can they


come back into it? Burry Stander has come back and even if he


doesn't get a medal, he is the hero of the race. The amount of


comebacks he has had. He is certainly fought hard. Everybody


has had a typical day out. We have just seen, Fontana making the move


on Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter. In 6th place making his


move there as well, Fumic. The Italian is now pushing very, very


hard. He's not the strongest here. He wants to try to make some


daylight. I think Nino Schurter is going to appreciated, actually, so


it's not him having to make the pace all the time, which he has for


the majority of this race. They start off at the kind of pace


resort on the first lap. A furious amount of energy. Technical skill


through these corners, also giving wheels. You could power a town for


a week on the amount of power these guys are making here. It's an awful


lot of power to be generating. They will use about 3,000 calories in a


single race. He is in trouble. Jaroslav Kulhavy, I think he can


get back, but if it does come down to this final little bit here.


Burry Stander and Jose Hermida will have seen it a little bit of a gap


and that will have spurred them on. The three seconds, and meaning for


gap. The is somebody going to be making a mistake on the technical


section? Fontana is driving away. A he's offered a bottle with six


minutes to go but I don't think he will stop for a drink, will he?


Jaroslav Kulhavy looked disgusted. Are you joking? The now, we're just


watching Burry Stander and Jose Hermida try to catch up but back


through the section, Nino Schurter is reeling in Fontana. He's making


this last big push. They have one more. The halfway stage of this lap


and has nothing to choose between the top three. Jaroslav Kulhavy has


clawed his way back on terms there after the attack from up on Tanner,


and it was an attack, as well. -- from Fontana. He's very consistent,


isn't he? And still, these three are all together. I'm sure now,


unless there is a technical section which is possible, this is going to


come down to a sprint finish. Not for the line, perhaps, but the


small climate with 30 seconds of racing to go because whoever gets


to the top will have a clear run on the final two bends, which is no


place to pass. Fontana again on the outside of Nino Schurter. That is


so tied through there, they are endangering themselves also be


wants to get himself in front for the next technical section and be


in control. They come through for the final time. Jaroslav Kulhavy,


in third, is the saving themselves for the sprint? I'm not sure. I


think he drove very hard through there. Fontana has been saving it


all and wants to get back. He feels he can make some daylight but has


not done it. Stretching each other out. Absolutely phenomenal racing.


So, so exciting to see a race come down to this. And they have come


through the halfway stage of this final lap. It's a different ability,


this finish. If it comes down to this last few minutes of this final


climb, it's not the same as climbing up there. It is more about


who can sprint. It won't come for the finish but for the final climb,


and is paying for those efforts, Fontana. That first sprinter


leaving Fontana down a little bit and are all of them are looking


very, very careful. Not quite as quick. Berry good work from Nino


Schurter. Very tidy as well. -- a very good work. Coming to the end


of a rock garden and Nino Schurter has gone five or six bike lengths


here. They will come around into the big climate before the


technical zone for the second time. I was wondering whether somebody


was going to make a mistake under pressure. All of them choosing to


take the same line on this occasion. He has stretched run out. Can he


make the advantage stick? I think they will end up coming back


together again. Well, we are back on the breath taker, this big


climate to the top of Hadleigh Farm. These two are breaking away now.


Fontana, I think his day is done and he would get the bronze medal


but this could be it. It is. Jaroslav Kulhavy just pushing up.


He's such a big man. Somehow, he shouldn't be able to climb but


somehow he manages to get up the hill. He's driving up it. He


doesn't want to wait for the sprint but has not managed to get that of


Nino Schurter. Both of them are so equally matched. I think it's going


to come down to this last 100-metre blowing their. He takes a quick


look back and knows he's got a bronze medal, but this is the


battle for a gold. Jaroslav Kulhavy trying to desperately held off Nino


Schurter but he makes a move, pushing so hard. That could be


decisive now. A few minutes left to see who is going to be the Olympic


champion. They will soon be right in front of us here. A horrible


section which took out Burry Stander and knocked him out of the


lead group. They are coming through very nicely, though. You can hear


the noise of the crowd as they come back towards us now. Through the


technical zone. We can see them in the distance coming down. Less than


one, two to go as they come into their last piece of the race. Can


he overcome a Nino Schurter one last time? A very big effort. Nino


Schurter feels, this could be his best chance to take the


Czechoslovakia and. Fontana almost sitting at the end of a technical


zone. The he has fought so hard to stay with these two but it's all


over now. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter are racing away now in


their own battles. 500 metres remaining in this race. It's been


so hard. These three have just driven this race along. Fontana now


paying the price but he clade valiantly. Starting to get some


distance now. There's nothing between them, is there? I can't say


who's going to win the here? this is so close. They wanted so


badly and have invested so much in this race. They are coming into the


finish. One gentle climb, almost a single line. This is it. Nino


Schurter has laid off, the winner, and has come onto the climb of.


Whoever comes around here now will decide the title. They are


sprinting for the top of the hill. Jaroslav Kulhavy has slowed right


down. And he has got the inside line and can close it. A big


mistake. 50 metres to go now as they come through the chicane. Nino


Schurter trying to get it up. It can't come down to the last 10


Less than one bike's length ahead of Nino Schurter. It was going to


be for that last time the moment but ended up. A small optical


decide at the Olympic title. fantastic race for the Men's


mountain biking. Bronze medal for form Tanner from Italy. A fantastic


performance from him. -- Fontana. Jose Hermida takes off. With the


South African, Crow journey in 5th. A truly, truly great race. -- Burry


That has driven all of the races to the absolute limit. Jaroslav


2012, that now seems clear. He has made it count when it matters for


an Olympic gold medal in London. Carlos Coloma of Spain comes in six.


-- in 6th place. Manuel Fumic of Germany, a great race from him.


Geoff Kabush coming round the corner, a great race from him. He


got caught up in traffic early on. What an incredible and to that race.


Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter, neck-and-neck. After more than,


well, 35 kilometres of incredibly testing racing, there was less than


two metres to separate them. So 9th place here for Alexander Gehbauer.


Behind them we have a sprint between Stephane Tempier and Todd


Wells, who takes it out in front. Top 10 finish for Todd Wells.


Stephane Tempier settles for 11th. He was in 6th place for so long. I


can't say I am as exhausted as any of the guys racing that course but


I feel immensely drained having watched it. Not least because of


21 year-old. He smashes his world ranking. 28th coming into this. Now


13th. The crowd are cheering in every single one of these riders.


Some shots just coming down this finish line. -- Samuel Schultz.


can see lots of the riders just laid out. Trying to stand up, get


their into their lungs, keep moving to recover. Look at that. Jaroslav


Kulhavy, less than one hour 30. A breathtaking time from him, quite


literally. Rudi Van Houts managed to recover from that puncture and


comes in 17th. Ralph Naef of Switzerland in 18th. Phenomenal to


look at it on paper, the Swiss has looked so strong in 2012. But Nino


Schurter had to settle for second. There are four Swiss men in the top


seven. But because of Olympic Rawlings they cannot have more than


three. -- Olympic rules. O'Connell Congratulations. Thank you. An hour


and a half of racing, plenty of climbs, how on earth did you find


the energy to sprint at the end? was really hard. We went full gas


every time. It was amazing. I got everything for this race. All my


energy. I know you have tailored or a racing and you're training over


the last year for the Olympics, so desperate for gold, and you have


got it. What does that mean? That was important this year. Nothing


else. Everything, everything. Now I am Olympic champion. If you put on


a fantastic show for the crowd and they certainly showed their


appreciation as you came round that final corner. Were you aware of the


crowd and how much they were cheering? I don't know, I am really


dead. You are exhausted. Congratulations. And a bit champion.


Well done. the -- Olympic champion. Things are frenetic here. Chris


Boardman has just come down from the commentary booth. That phrase


had it all. Yes, including tragedy for Liam Killeen, he has had it


confirms that he has broken his ankle. And those three in front


were really amazing. Marco Fontana was so quiet for a lot of the race.


There was nothing between the first two, absolutely nothing between


them. It was coming down to that final nothing of the climb. It was


not about the finish. It was that switchback which would make


somebody win and they knew it. Talk about a photo finish. Towards the


end they had to sprint and I don't know where you find the reserve to


do it. I don't know. They dug hard. Nino Schurter dark hard to find


everything that he could to keep in control but he did not. As soon as


they went round the bend with 100m to go, there was no coming back.


terms of the crowd, a fantastic show. They sound like they were


loving it. Mountain-biking could not ask for more than that.


cannot. It has been a wonderful spectacle, with wonderful weather


and a marvellous race. Some wonderful moment but not everybody


is believing with a smile. Julien Absalon had to pull out early. We


caught him as he limped over the finish line. I had a flat tyre in


the first lap. It was the worst thing for me. I worked for four


years to be at 100% today and to have a technical problem is the


worst thing. I'm really disappointed. It is really hard to


finish like this. I was in good shape. It is terrible. I can't


explain more. You came here as the defending champion. Did you feel


the pressure? For sure but my mind was really good. I was thinking, OK,


I have two gold medals, so if I win something today it was just a bonus.


It was not a bad pressure, and our sport is a mechanical support also


so that is the risk of our sport. This is definitely your last


Olympics? It is a mechanical fault and not a physical fault so have


you got anything more to give? cannot answer now because I am so


disappointed. I think it was my last, yes. Julien Absalon,


absolutely gutted. Annie Last, you know what it is like when you come


over the finish line and everybody wants to talk to. He must have been


feeling awful. I was the defending Olympic champion. He wanted to win


this race and get another gold medal. But it is bike racing and


you have good days and bad days. That is the awful thing. Sadly it


is those moments that attract the crowd, the drama that makes people


come to watch. What is it like to see this many people here cheering


on your sport? It is amazing. The crowds have been incredible. To


have this many people there, shouting, really getting behind all


the riders and getting into the race is just great. In France and


in Switzerland it is just a massive sport and they have these races all


the time. It is not quite like that in the UK. You get places in


Switzerland and France and America why you get massive crowds at lots


of races. But you do not get so many people watching the races here.


It is great to see the British public coming and having a bit of a


look to see what is going on. People who do not know anything


about cycling and sport are really getting behind it. Liam Killeen, an


awful day for him. He did not finish the race. He has gone to


hospital with a suspected broken ankle and he could even need


surgery. Did you see what happened? I did not see the crash but I have


heard that it was at the bottom of Deanes Drop. It sounds like he just


slipped out. He came away from it really badly. Talk us through


Deanes Drop. I have been describing them as staircases made out of


boulders. What is it like from your point of view? There is a long,


technical feature on the course. Some really tight, rough, rocky


section's leading into some little jumps at the bottom. It is all


about keeping in control for the whole section. You have to be


focused and get down these different elements. It is a


difficult day for him. There has been talk about this being his last


Olympics. It is probably not fair to ask you the question, but could


this be his last? I don't know. You see lots of riders coming through


and racing again and again. I don't know. I am gutted for him today,


really gutted. The tag-line of the Olympics has been to inspire a


generation and after yesterday it was such a great show. I really


hope this does not put anybody off. You would not want anybody to be


put off? Not at all. The front of the race was just incredible. You


see the sprint finish after an hour and a half, so... There are ups and


dows to everything and I hope everyone has in the rest of the


race and really enjoyed it. I know everybody is looking forward to


seeing more from you, Annie Last. What has happened to Liam Killeen?


He has had a nasty break to his ankle. He was pushing hard to get


into the race. He was coming from the back and moving very quickly


and he has just gone down hard. There is a nasty break to the ankle,


fortunately. He has spoken about how much he appreciates the home


crowd in the past. Like other Commonwealth Games in Manchester.


It is awful to think that he feels like he has let people down.


last thing he said was that he wanted the crowd to be roaring for


him. He was determined to have a good race and to be cheered on by


the crowd, so we will be devastated that he has not made it through


another few laps. In terms of cycling, the Olympic has been


roaring success, hasn't it? Fantastic. The support staff,


everybody deserves a pat on the back. We came to put on a good show


for the nation and I think we have done that very well. I hope people


are taking up cycling, road races, time trialing, mountain biking. I


hope people can get on their bicycles. Do not be put off by this


because the course will be made easier for the public going forward.


In terms of British cycling, can you take a lot from this Olympics?


We take a lot from every race that we do. After an Olympic Games like


this, we look at where we are going in the next four years, where we


want cycling to be, where we want the performances to be. The riders


and staff sit down and look and look at the details and put


together some new performances. Hopefully by Rio Games we will have


pushed up the bar even higher. Every time I think Rio Games, I


think Annie Last. I know lots of people will be following your


career with aberration and interest. set it -- with admiration. We have


said it so many times that Olympic dreams can be made and sadly today


they have been broken. But that is sport, and that is why you have to


celebrate the great moments and triumphs when they come. You we


will all be watching Denise Lewis's to the nation's in an even sweeter


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