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Thomas Frischknecht (born 17 February 1970 in Feldbach, Switzerland) is a former Swiss mountain bike and cyclo-cross racer, often called Europe's Elder Statesman of mountain biking,because of his extraordinarily long career at the top level of the sport. A professional since 1990, he was on top of the Mountain Bike World Championship podium for the first time in 1996 and most recently in 2004.
In 1996 he was second at the World Cross-country Mountain Bike Championships, but after France's Jerome Chiotti confessed having used EPO when he won the title that year, he got the rainbow jersey from Chiotti, handed over as a friendly act in an unofficial ceremony.
He won the Olympic silver medal in 1996. The next day he competed in the men's road race on a Ritchey cyclocross bike after fellow Swiss team member Tony Rominger fell ill. He finished the race in the middle of the pack.
Thomas is married and has three children. Thomas's father was a cyclo-cross racer as well, winning three silver medals at World Championships. He won a Swiss stage race called Grandprixtell in the early 1990s, and took part in the Olympic Road Race in 1996.
Thomas first traveled to America in 1990 to compete in the then new genre of mountain biking. He became closely linked to Tom Ritchey, a major bike-components producer, who provided support and became a mentor and a good friend. Ritchey has sponsored him ever since. Other major sponsors include Swisspower, an electric utility consortium, and Scott bicycles.
Frischknecht was multiple Swiss cyclist of the year and author of a book on mountain biking, Richtig Mountainbiken. He is currently involved with the Frischi Bike School in the Engadin/St. Moritz area of Switzerland.