2012 Mountain Bike Olympian Karen Hanlen (centre) with her mother Merle, and husband Mark.
Only six mountain bikers have ever represented New Zealand at the Olympics:
What powers these six Kiwis through the mud, sweat and tears of mountain biking to race in the world's top sporting arena? Our latest book follows these inspiring athletes – five out of six of whom are women – through their tumultuous careers. Along the way, it tells the story of mountain-bike racing in New Zealand as it has grown from a bunch of mates racing through Skippers Canyon in pursuit of an ice block, to a fierce battle for international titles and professional team contracts.
Mountain biking is a young, rebellious, messy sport – the Olympics, on the other hand, is one of the world's oldest sporting traditions. Find out what happens when six gutsy Kiwis go head to head with the world's best, from 1996 when mountain biking first became an Olympic sport, to London 2012 where Karen Hanlen raced the most important ride of her life.