Anne Caroline Chausson
Anne-Caroline Chausson was the dominant force in women’s mountain biking during the 1990s and 2000s. Between 1996 and 2005 she achieved nine downhill world titles, remarkably only missing out in 2004. She was crowned Dual Slalom World Champion in consecutive years in 2000 and 2001, and became the Four-Cross World Champion in the following years. In total, she achieved 13 rainbow jerseys, making her the most decorated female in mountain bike history.
Her talent on two wheels does not fall exclusively on mountain biking – Chausson is a world class BMX rider too. When women’s BMX racing was announced as a new sport for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Chausson was chosen to represent France. She did not disappoint and won the gold medal. The women’s race took place before the men’s, making her the first BMX Olympic gold medallist.
Chausson was born In Dijon in 1977. Her BMX Olympic gold medal in 2008 means that she has gone the full circle on two wheels; she actually began her interest in cycling in BMX racing, competing up until the age of 16. The move onto a mountain bike soon proved to be the correct decision, as she became Downhill Junior World Champion in her debut season.
Whilst a lot of mountain bikers are adrenaline fuelled and slightly crazy characters (you’d have to be to fly down those hills), Chausson is quite quiet and shy. She chooses to let her riding skills do the talking though, excelling in multiple disciplines such as downhill, four-cross and dual slalom.