A short history
Mountain bike developed in northern California during the 1970s when cyclists began to fit out their bicycles with wider tyres, rapid-shift gears and ground-breaking suspension components. From its low-key beginnings, the sport quickly spread around the world. Cross-country mountain bike made its Olympic debut at the Atlanta 1996 Games.
The mountain bike events for both men and women are mass start events. Riders are seeded into a starting grid according to their current UCI ranking. They complete one start loop, followed by a specified number of laps of the course. The winner is the first to cross the finish line.