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Mountain bike

Mountain bike is a relatively new sport that emerged in the 1970s, when some cyclists wanted to take their bikes off-road and explore new trails. In the 1990s, the first mountain bikes that could withstand impacts experienced during riding were created. Mountain bike subsequently took off, became a sport in its own right and began to take shape. The first informal competitions took place in the 1980s before the first official World Championships were held in the 1990s.

Brief overview of the rules

There are two cross-country mountain bike events, one for women and one for men. Riders set off from the same starting line and contest multiple laps around a loop on mountainous, rough terrain that tests their technique, endurance and stamina.

Races feature a mass start and, in general, multiple laps. Riders take 1h20 to 1h40 to complete an intense course full of twists and turns, covering tens of kilometres during the event.

Olympic history

Mountain bike made its Olympic debut 100 years after track cycling and road cycling, at the Atlanta 1996 Games, with individual races for men and women. In its short Olympic history, French and Swiss athletes have regularly finished on the Olympic podium in this  event, combining for 16 of the 42 medals awarded in the event.

Events in 2024

The mountain bike events will take place on the 28th and 29th of July.

  • Cross-country (women’s / men’s)

Venue in 2024

International organisation

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

© Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

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