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Mountain biker lights winter Olympic cauldron

Mountain biker Tyler Allison lights the Olympic Cauldron in Whistler, British Columbia, in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Mountain biker Tyler Allison lights the Olympic Cauldron in Whistler, British Columbia, in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (Image credit: Tamsin Miller)

A mountain biker was given the honor of lighting the Olympic Cauldron in Whistler on Friday night in preparation for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in British Columbia. Cycling BC team member Tyler Allison, who is both a cross country racer and a downhiller, performed the honors one week in advance of the Winter Games.

2010 Olympic freestyle skier Julia Murray handed off the flame to former Olympic alpine skier Steve Podborski, who made his way carefully on skis toward the waiting 17-year-old Allison according to Montreal's The Gazette, which also reported that organizers wouldn't let Allison ride his bike up to the cauldron because the crowd was too big and the pathway too small.

When Allison lit the cauldron, spectators went wild.

The Canadian Allison is a hopeful for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. He was nominated for his cauldron lighting duties by Councillor Thompson. 

All Olympic cycling disciplines - road, mountain bike and track - are part of the summer Olympics.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.