Mountain bike at the Olympics

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.


Competition format

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.