With an impressive win on a highly demanding Olympic circuit at Hadleigh´s Farm, the 23-year old Frenchwoman Julie Bresset left the 2012 Games with an Olympic Gold medal. For Julie, this was her Olympic debut and she impressed everybody by dominating the entire race. Russian rider Irina Kalentieva achieved an outstanding result with a strong 4th place finish after an intense summer training period.
“I have not realized it, yet!” is all the speechless Gold-medallist of the Women’s Cross-Country race (XCO) at London 2012 could say after her race. The young rider from Brittany seemed bewildered, which is easily understandable: London 2012 was her Olympic debut. The competition couldn´t have been any more competitive and the Olympic course was highly demanding, both physically and technically. Obviously, Bresset was the female rider that tamed the circuit, with its brutal uphills and technically challenging downhill sections. Sabine Spitz, was Julie’s closest rival throughout the race, but crashed in one of the tough, artificial rock gardens. Despite her excellent fighting spirit, Spitz – who took Gold at the 2008 Olympics in Peking - wasn´t able to close the gap on her younger competitor Bresset. No doubt, the Frenchwoman always knew, that when relying on her superfast rolling Continental “Race Kings” handmade in Germany, acceleration and grip would never be an issue on the dry Olympic course.
The “Race King”, was Irina Kalentievas tyre of choice, too. Produced at Continental´s facility in Korbach, Germany, the Race Kings transferred her powerful sprints successfully to the ground gaining her a strong 4th place finish. This great result proves the benefits of her well-thought-out training, which earlier this year lead her to a win at the National Russian Championships in Cross-Country.
London 2012 marked the second appearance of 28-year old German Adelheid Morath, who was aiming for “a final position within the top-10”. Finishing with a more than respectable 16th place, Morath, while not achieving her dream, improved on her result from Peking 2008 (18th place). No wonder, Adelheid “royally” celebrated her success with teammate Blaza Klemencic (23rd place) of Felt/Ötztal-X-Bionic at the final Olympic ceremony last Sunday. Austrian Karl Markt, underlines the importance of the Olympic spirit, which for him is even more important than his final result. “After one year of very intense preparation, in which a few problems occurred, I’m more than happy with my 20th place finish! Maybe my result could have been better without my crash in the fourth lap. But: I’m satisfied nevertheless, the audience cheering on every rider was simply amazing and the feeling, marching in the stadium in front of 80.000 people, has an atmosphere quite of its own”, says Markt.