Georgia Gould (United States of America) overcame a slow start to win a bronze medal in the women's Olympic mountain bike race. Gould started on the second row of the race and despite having to overcome slow traffic and being as far back as 16th after the start loop, she was able to ride herself into medal contention by the third lap of the race.
"At the beginning, I was kind of in the back. It took me a while to get up to the front as I had a really bad start, and then I finally caught up to that lead group. I was lucky that they were playing cat and mouse a little bit because it took me a while to move up."
Gould, who races for the Luna team the rest of the season, formed a leading trio that included race winner Julie Bresset (France) and Sabine Spitz (Germany) and after Bresset distanced her rivals, Gould briefly found herself in silver medal position. However Spitz overcame a crash to secure second place, holding off the American all the way to the line.
"I was riding in the top three. We were together then Sabine made a little mistake in one of the rock sections and she had to get off her bike, so I had to get off my bike and that was what allowed Julie to get that initial gap. Then we were back and forth a little bit, me and Sabine. She was a little bit stronger there in the end."
"I was trying to be a little bit conservative, too. I didn't want to take too many risks. I've had some races this season when things were going really well then some bad luck or a little mistake cost me the race so I just tried to keep it together to the finish. I was just so glad I was able to."
Gould's medal adds to the gold that her nation secured in the women's road time trial and the silvers on the track from the women's team pursuit and women's omnium.
All of the United States' Olympic cycling medals won so far this Games have been won by women. The men will race the final cycling event, the cross country mountain bike race, tomorrow.
The only other US Olympic mountain bike medal was won by Susan DeMattei in 1996, when mountain biking was first included into the Olympics.