London, England – France's Julie Bresset earned a dominating victory Saturday in the women's mountain bike race at the London Olympics, while Georgia Gould of the United States took bronze.
In her first Olympics, Bresset rode away from the field by herself, gradually building up an insurmountable lead. She handled the technical sections smoothly and kept a steady, fast pace to finish in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 52 seconds.
The cross-country race consisted of six laps of the 4.8-kilometer course at Hadleigh Farm. Bresset, the under-23 world champion, was in the lead by the middle of the first loop.
She was able to celebrate as she approached the finish, and grabbed a French flag from the crowd before crossing the line. Afterward, she stopped and raised her bike in the air.
Germany's Sabine Spitz did almost the same thing when she won the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, only stopping to lift her bike in the air before walking across the line.
Spitz and Gould dueled behind Bresset, unable to catch the leader and effectively racing for silver.
Spitz finished 62 seconds behind Bresset on Saturday to claim silver, her third Olympic medal. She won bronze at the 2004 Athens Games.
Gould was six seconds behind Spitz for bronze.