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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Monday, 20 February 2012
2012 mountain to climb for Julien Absalon


Mon 20 Feb 12: French mountain biker Julien Absalon will postpone the start of his season after crashing in training.

Julien Absalon
Julien Absalon will likely now begin his 2012 campaign in March

The double Olympic gold medallist was due to compete at the GP Jean Masse in Marseilles on Sunday but after fracturing his right thumb he will probably now race at the Copa Catalana Internacional in Banyoles on March 11.

"I hit a tree with the outside of my handlebars on a fast stony section and thrown to the ground," Julien told Velovert .

"I'm not doing so bad, it could have been more serious. My [swollen] knee is going down quickly, it should allow me to resume training on the road soon but it will take a little longer for the thumb fracture to heal so I can go on the bike."


Sat 03 Sep 11: Julien Absalon has won bronze at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland.

Julien Absalon
Julien Absalon rides to World Championship bronze

Julien crashed spectacularly after he hit a root and was unable to catch up. He finished 1 minute 26 seconds behind Jaroslav Kulhavy.

"As for the crash, these things happen," Julien said. "For me, there was no other tactic in the final part but full attack to stay within the top three. When Kulhavy is riding strong, you already have a hard time following him.

"When you have a crash it's even harder to chase him. I wanted to fight hard to get back in the chase group. I took lots of risks."

Sat 20 Aug 11: Julien has finished third overall in the 2011 Cross-Country Mountain Bike World Cup.

He finished fourth in the final round at Val di Sole, Italy - a week after coming third in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic. The overall series was won by Jaroslav Kulhavy who secured victory in five of the campaign's seven rounds.

Sun 07 Aug 11: Julien is the 2011 European Championships silver medallist. At the race in Dohnany, Slovakia, Julien finished 24 seconds behind the Czech Republic's Jaroslav Kulhavy.

Sun 31 Jul 11: Julien Absalon dominated the Olympic test event at Hadleigh Farm in Essex.


Mountain bike champ rides Olympic course

Talking about the circuit, Julien said: "It's difficult technically and also physically. The only problem is it's really difficult to pass on the track because most of the time you are on a single track."

Not that the Frenchman needed to overtake in Sunday's event - he crossed the line in one hour, 31 minutes and 48 seconds, well ahead of his nearest rivals.

Sun 17 Jul 11: Julien Absalon has been crowned French cross-country champion for the ninth time.

Sun 29 May 11: Julien has won the Offenberg World Cup in Germany for the fifth consecutive year. After three of the seven races that make up the World Cup series, Julien is now the overall leader.

"I knew I needed to attack at the beginning of a long climb, like I have done each year, and so I did the same," said Absalon.

"To win a World Cup you need to do a perfect race because the gaps are small. I planned the beginning of my season to peak for this race because I like it so much and it is only two hours from my home."

Sun 22 May 11: Another second place finish - this time in Yorkshire's Dalby Forest - consolidates Julien's grip on the second spot in the overall World Cup standings.


Julien Absalon finishes second at the Dalby Forest World Cup

Sat 23 Apr 11: Julien finished second to Nino Schurter in the opening race of the 2011 Cross-country Mountain Bike World Cup (UCI), which kicked off in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Thu 24 Mar 11: The London Olympics mountain biking course has been unveiled.

The site at Hadleigh Farm in Essex has now been completed and was hailed as "explosive" by a Team GB rider.

Sun 13 Mar 11: Julien Absalon has grabbed his first win of the season - the 2011 Catalan Cup.

Tue 4 Jan 11: Julien Absalon was voted Male Mountain Biker of the Year by Cycling News readers for an impressive sixth time.


Sun 28 Nov 10: Julien finished fourth in one of the world's most extreme sporting challenges - Mega-avalanche.


Top mountain bikers brave volcano

The downhill event, down the side of a volcano on the French-administered island of Reunion, was won by his brother Remy.

Wed 3 Nov 10: Julien finished sixth in his first pre-season race - the Challenge National de Saverne.

Sat 4 Sep 10: Julien could only manage fifth place at the 2010 World Championships in Quebec, Canada. Jose Antonio Hermida won as Julian struggled after breaking a finger (Cycling News).

Sat 28 Aug 10: Julien has finished second in the 2010 Cross-Country Mountain Bike World Cup to Nino Schurter. He lost out to Nino Schurter after his bike suffered a flat tyre in the final meeting at Windham, USA (Cycling News).

Mon 9 Aug 10: Julien still leads the world rankings despite being beaten into second place in round eight of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

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see also
Brand value of an Olympic champion
11 Jan 11 |  World Olympic Dreams
2012 mountain to climb for Julien Absalon
18 Aug 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
How to be a top mountain biker
28 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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