Posted by Editoress on 09/4/09
Caroline Buchanan started a night of Australian celebration on Friday by winning the women's 4-Cross title at the Mountain Bike World Championships in her hometown of Canberra.
Buchanan was blazing fast out of the gate in all three of her races, and in the Final beat the 2007 world champion Jill Kintner (USA). Kintner is usually considered the fastest woman out of the gate, but not tonight. Buchanan was two bike lengths in front by the first corner, and didn't look back. Kintner tried to close in the middle part of the course, but didn't have it, holding on for second, with defending world champion Melissa Buhl (USA) taking the bronze ahead of Anita Molcik (Austria). The one surprising name missing from the Final was World Cup leader Anneke Beerten (Netherlands), who was disqualified after finishing second to Buchanan in the semi-final, for cutting a gate.
"There was a lot of pressure, a lot of media," admitted Buchanan. "I managed to escape most of the day and channel it. On the gate I thought 'this is my race'. I wanted to win and Jared [Graves] said before: 'as you come down the straight all the lights behind you, so you can see the shadows, you can see if someone is there'. And I couldn't see anyone. So I was crying from probably the Bear Traps down. This is just so emotional for me to do it in my home town and to have all my family here. On the podium I could see all my friends, everyone I have gone to school with, my butcher, my hairdresser, everyone - absolutely everyone is here, so it's just an awesome feeling."
Kintner, one of the favourites had no excuses. "I pretty much felt good coming into this race. I knew I would be a favourite and I knew I could put a solid lap down in qualifying and get the inside. But you can't always plan on how things are going to turn out. I don't know what was going on at the start - it felt like it dropped faster here for some reason, and I was just slow every time. Caroline did well - home track, home crowd, you know it just pulls you through a lot of the time. I feel like it couldn't happen here in Australia. I could feel that too, and it's a whole race to be a part of, and sometimes you lose."
Australia's Jared Graves capped his perfect season by winning the men's 4-Cross title at the Mountain Bike World Championships on Friday evening in Canberra, Australia.
Graves was the clear favourite going into the men's event, having already won the World Cup title with one race remaining, and qualifying first at these Worlds. He did not disappoint the fans, with a very fast start in every heat, often able to coast across the line, multiple bike lengths ahead of the competition.
Romain Saladini (France), Jakub Riha (Czech Republic) and defending champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Spain) joined Graves for the Final. While Graves shot out of the gate and was never challenged on his way to victory, Saladini and Riha fought for second until the second half of the course, when Saladini finally opened a gap to take the silver medal. Alvarez de Lara Lucas finished fourth after crashing out of contention on the first straight.
"I felt a bit calmer today than I normally would at a World Cup," revealed Graves "I was saying to people earlier in the week that I have lost this race enough now, even as favourite, to know that life goes on if you don't win it. So I was trying to remember that."
"Obviously, I wanted to win it. It has been the biggest goal I have had in mountain biking, to pull it off after the bad run of luck I have had for three years in a row. I had a really good last practice session, so I knew if I kept it upright and just did my thing all night that I was going to get it. I did that, so I can't explain how I feel. It is just unbelievable."
"I was trying to not pay any attention to the other races tonight. I had people out on the course to tell me if there was anything going on that I should be aware of. But no one said anything, so I just kept to my strategy. It was a huge help this week practicing with Sam Willoughby. It was unreal having him here to practice with. We just did=2 0multiple lines and went over every line conceivable option for passing and I feel it just paid off tonight."
1 Caroline Buchanan (Australia)
2 Jill Kintner (United States Of America)
3 Melissa Buhl (United States Of America)
4 Anita Molcik (Austria)
5 Anneke Beerten (Netherlands)
6 Mio Suemasa (Japan)
7 Sarsha Huntington (Australia)
8 Julia Boer (Hungary)
9 Romana Labounkova (Czech Republic)
10 Joanna Petterson (South Africa)
11 Fionn Griffiths (Great Britain)
DSQ Diana Marggraff (Ecuador)
1 Jared Graves (Australia)
2 Romain Saladini (France)
3 Jakub Riha (Czech Republic)
4 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spain)
5 Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic)
6 Joost Wichman (Netherlands)
7 David Graf (Switzerland)
8 Blake Carney (United States Of America)
9 Sam Willoughby (Australia)
10 Dan Atherton (Great Britain)
11 Leigh Darrell (Australia)
12 Guido Tschugg (Germany)
13 Ryan Henderson (Australia)
14 Johannes Fischbach (Germany)
15 Luke Madill (Australia)
16 Aurélien Giordanengo (France)
17 Scott Beaumont (Great Britain)
18 Matthew Walker (New-Zealand)
19 Matej Vitko (Slovakia)
20 Randal Huntington (Australia)
21 Daniel Ricardo Castillo (Colombia)
22 Kazuki Shimizu (Japan)
23 Kye Walstrom (Canada)
24 Michal Prokop (Czech Republic)
25 Pascal Seydoux (Switzerland)
26 Mitch Ropelato (United States Of America)
27 Jurg Meijer (Netherlands)
28 Edward Masters (New-Zealand)
29 Michael Robert Haderer (United States Of America)
30 Junya Nagata (Japan)
31 Camilo Andres Sanchez Paez (Colombia)
32 Filip Polc (Slovakia)
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