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Name: Oliver Beckingsale

Age: 32

From: Backwell, Somerset

Disciplines: Mountain biking

Career synopsis: Beijing will be Beckingsale?s third Olympics, having already competed at Sydney and Athens, coming 17th in Greece. Oli started his career with the GB Cycling squad, turning pro with Scott in 2000. Since then, he has been one of the most consistent riders at the top flight, taking several domestic titles.

Titles held: 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 British National Mountain Biking Champion

Two things you didn?t know about… In his own words, Beckingsale is naturally a better runner than a bike rider, but simply prefers cycling. His parents have also ?orphaned? him to live in Limoges, France.


Have you ever been to China before?

Never, no. It would be nice to go there on a holiday rather than for a bike race. I am going out there eight days before the race and we are staying near the road course. Our course is near the village in town, so we are going there five days before the race to try it out.

Do you have any family coming out to watch in Beijing?

My mum and dad came out to Sydney and watched me there and had such a good time that they said they never want to go to anything again! My wife is pregnant, so she can?t fly, so that?s a done deal.

Is there an Olympian you would particularly like to meet?

I would like to meet the guy who came into the LA Olympics on a jet pack in 1984 ? I thought that was the coolest thing ever and it is my earliest memory of the games. I was eight years old.

What is your favourite non-cycling Olympic event?

I like watching athletics. Track and field.

How do you cope with all the hanging around?

It is part of being a professional bike rider; sitting in airports and hotels. DVD?s and internet: that?s all you can do. And a good room mate helps ? it will probably be Liam [Killeen]. We are a good mix; he is quiet.

Any plans for time off after Beijing?

We go straight from the games to a World cup in Canberra, Australia, and then a World Cup final in Schladming. Then a bit of a break, some DIY, bit of a holiday, wife?s having a baby, that will take care of it!

Do you usually race through the winter?

I do little bits and pieces of racing in the winter but if I don?t feel like doing it, I don?t do it. It is important, mentally, to take a break.