Tokyo 2020 - Switzerland sweep the mountain bike podium in treacherous conditions
"Someone said to me that whoever wins this race is going to be a worthy champion because you're going to have to know how to ride your mountain bike - you need skills, you need everything," said Jolanda Neff of Switzerland after her brilliant solo win in the women’s cross country mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
"Someone said to me that whoever wins this race is going to be a worthy champion because you're going to have to know how to ride your mountain bike - you need skills, you need everything," Neff said after her win.
"I'm just so incredibly happy to win on this track on this day.
"I knew it was going to be a super tough and really hard race.
It's got really steep climbs and really tough conditions and this morning we had a complete change of conditions again (with heavy rain).
“We had one hour of training to get used to the new conditions and I think that's what made the difference for the Swiss team."
Jolanda Neff of Team Switzerland
Image credit: Getty Images
A tropical storm in Japan saw torrential ran fall through the night and early morning, meaning the mountain bike course was a completely different prospect to the one that the men had raced a day earlier.
More slips, slides and crashes ensued, with France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prevot involved in the most notably incident, slipping back down a rocky climb to lose touch with the leader.
Neff’s victory is her first Olympic medal, but the 28-year-old has enjoyed a stellar career, winning an individual world title in 2017 and four career European crowns as well as World Cup overall golds in 2014, 2015 and 2018.
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