HADLEIGH FARM, United Kingdom: France's Julie Bresset stormed to victory in the women's mountain bike cross country race to claim her maiden Olympic title Saturday.
Germany's Sabine Spitz claimed the silver with Georgia Gould of the United States winning the bronze.
Bresset was among an early group of pace-setters on the Hadleigh Farm course and their pace steadily thinned out the field over the first two of the race's six laps.
By the end of the third lap the 23-year-old Frenchwoman had opened up a slight lead on Spitz and the rest, and a lap further on she had increased her advantage to 33secs.
Only a mishap on one of the several technical sections on the course looked likely to threaten Bresset's charge towards the gold medal.
But she avoided the potential dangers in the 'Rock Garden', 'Dean's Drop', 'Snake Hill' and the 'Rabbit Hole' to leave her rivals playing a desperate game of catch-up.
Bresset went on to finish the race in just under 90 minutes, with Spitz coming over the finish line at 1min 01sec and Gould crossing several seconds later.
At 40 years and 228 days old on Saturday, Spitz became the oldest medal winner in an individual cycling event since Jeannie Longo won time trial bronze in Sydney 2000 at the age of 41.