Repeat Gold For Julien


Oakley’s Julien Absalon brought his mountain bike status to new heights over the weekend when he became the first rider to defend the men’s Summer Games cross-country gold medal.

“It’s great to do the double. It feels totally different (from 2004), but this just confirms what I achieved in Athens,” added Absalon, who denied that he had made his victory look easy. “I had as tough a race as everyone else. When I saw the chance to make the break I went for it. After that I really gave it everything I had.”

Pulling ahead early was all part of Absalon’s strategy, and the demanding course and 90 degree heat did the rest as his rivals failed to close the gap.

The highly touted Swiss trio failed to match Absalon’s pace after he had begun to steadily grind out a lead by the second of eight laps. In the end, it allowed him to join an elite club of Summer Games athletes who have come in with the pressure, and survived to confirm their champion status.

“But Julien, he’s just about unbeatable,” said silver medalist Jean-Christophe Peraud. “You would have to have a very good ride to have a chance of even challenging him.”

At only 28 years old, Julien already viewed by most as a legend in his sport, only seems to be getting started, so watch out London!


Matt Murray


August 25, 2008

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