All eyes on this coming weekend’s Mountain Bike World Cup in La Bresse, France with rising star Annie Last looking to bag a spot on Team GB for the London Olympics. Last currently sits at 16th ranking and qualifiers are determined with nations ranking first to eighth earning two Olympic places and those between ninth and eighteenth taking one, meaning that, failing a catastrophic day’s competition, the 22 year-old from Bakewell could well be the first woman to represent Britain in cross-country mountain biking at Olympic level since 2000. Caroline Alexander and Louise Robinson rode for Team GB at the Sydney Games (finishing 12th and 15th respectively) but there were no qualifiers for either the Athens or Beijing Games.
Speaking to Mountain Bike Rider magazine, Last described her test of the Olympic course, which was specially constructed at Hadleigh Farm in Essex, thus: ‘The wider switchbacks are better for overtaking, really important in a race: you’ve got to be able to get past people to make a race. The extra rock garden will be great for the race and also as a spectacle for spectators.’ If she qualifies she will be in action at the London Olympics on Saturday, August 11.