While the 2020 Olympics may be postponed, the Rio 2016 women’s XCO race was exciting enough to tide us all over to 2021. Especially now that it is free to watch online.
The women’s mountain bike race was a star-studded showdown, with an incredibly deep field all vying for Olympic glory. There were seven current or former world champions lined up on the start line in the 30 rider field, all with a legitimate shot at winning the race.
Among them, Canada’s own Catharine Pendrel. The 2011 and 2014 world champion rode a courageous race to claim her first Olympic medal in Rio. An early-race mechanical that saw Pendrel pushed to the back of the race, struggling with a damaged drivetrain and trying to get to the mechanic’s zone.
It was another Canadian riding up with the leaders. Emily Batty had a brilliant start, riding alongside race favourites. Batty quickly found herself tracking Maja Wloszczowska of Poland, Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff and Sweeden’s rising star, Jenny Rissveds.
It’s a thrilling race, and 100 per cent worth a re-watch four years later.