Julien Absalon donated his Olympic mountain bike to the UCI's World Cycling Centre (WCC) on Monday, when the former World Champion and current Olympic Champion paid a visit to the international cycling federation's headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.
One day prior, at the penultimate round of the UCI World Cup cross country in Champéry, Switzerland, Frenchman Absalon placed second behind South African Burry Stander and secured his lead in the overall World Cup.
"Despite the accumulated fatigue from the journey to Australia (for worlds) and not training every day, Julien had a great race," said Orbea team manager Ixio Barandiarán. "The day before the race, he trained well, and at the race itself, he led by 40 seconds, but was overtaken by Burry Stander."
Absalon met with UCI President Pat McQuaid to hand over the bike, which joins the WCC's permanent exhibition of bicycles. According to the UCI, Absalon is no stranger to the WCC. He has trained at the center's velodrome as part of an off-season training camp with the French national team.
Absalon, an Olympic Champion in 2004 and 2008, won the World Championship in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was second two weeks ago in the 2009 worlds.
Just one round of the 2009 World Cup remains. It will be run in Schladming, Austria, on September 19-20.