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Monday, September 12, 2011

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking, or off-road biking, was started in 1974 by a group of Californian enthusiasts, who modified their bikes. By 1977, there was no much interest in the sport that manufacturers started to produce mountain bikes, and in 1983 the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) was formed. There are two types of mountain bike competitions – downhill riding and cross-country – and the first world championships were held in 1990. Cross-Country – and the first world championships were held in 1990. Cross-country mountain biking was first held at the Olympics in 1996. Competitors ride over a hilly, sometimes mountainous, natural course. Men race 40 to 50km and women 30 to 40km.
The top riders, male and female, are both French. Francois Gachet won the men’s downhill world titles six times between 1994 and 1999. Anne-Caroline Chausson (France) has won 16 World Championship titles. She won the downhill event every year from 1996 to 2003 and again in 2005.

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