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."
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)
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