Born on 4 April 1967 in New York, Furtado was one of the most dominant riders in mountain biking racing history, and is still the only rider, male or female, to ever win the World Championships in downhill and cross-country. Initially starting out as a skier, injury forced her to switch to cycling and in 1989 in her first year of competing, she won the national road title. Over the next six years of her career, she went on to win five National Championships, three World Cup titles and another World Championship title. At the Atlanta Olympics where she was the favourite to win, she didn’t make it to the podium due to her until then undiagnosed Lupus illness. Soon afterwards she was forced to retire due to this condition. Furtado, who has been struggling since childhood with depression, has only recently opened up in a book about her mental struggles and the way she has been coping with this. In 1999, she launched the Juliana, the first ever women-specific mountain bike. Her business evolved into offering the largest range of mountain bikes dedicated to women.
Bost turned 66 on 7 April. She was one of the best French riders in the 1970s, having won the 1977 World Road Championships in San Cristóbal in Venezuela. Before the world championships race, she said that she felt she had a good chance of winning as soon as she was given her race number 51. It was a good sign, she explained, as she comes from the region of Bernard Thévenet and Michel Laurent. Thévenet won the Tour with number 51 and Laurent with the same number won Paris – Nice, so she felt she couldn’t lose. Bost was also twice the national pursuit champion and once the French sprint champion, in addition to coming second three times in the national road championships, where she was beaten each time by Geneviève Gambillon.