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Five lows from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics

4. Low: Unlucky day for the Canadian women

Some days the race just doesn’t come together, and for Catharine Pendrel, the hands-down favorite for Olympic gold, that day was August 11, 2012.

The Canadian women’s team led the international UCI ranking in 2011 and boasted the World Cup winner, Pendrel.

With three women in the top 10 of the World Cup and only two slots available for the London team, the Canadian team denied 2004 silver medalist Marie-Helene Premont a slot in London, even though she finished the World Cup in eighth place, in favor of Emily Batty, who was sixth in the World Cup.

On paper, a medal for Canada seemed like an obvious outcome from the race, and with the most World Cup wins of any woman this year, Pendrel was hard to bet against for the gold.

To everyone’s surprise, Pendrel did not pose a threat to the outcome of the medals, barely holding onto ninth place.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Pendrel said after the race. “I didn’t have any bike issues. Normally I am really aggressive and out of the saddle and attacking. I don’t know if I used up all my energy being excited to race and just didn’t have it today.”

Pendrel’s Canadian teammate Batty finished 24th of the 28 finishers. “My head is not broken. My legs are not broken. My heart is broken,” said Batty after the race.

Tough day at the farm for Canadians Pendrel, Batty >>

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