Posted by Editor on 10/13/07
Samantha Cools Ninth at French Supercross
Samantha Cools of Airdrie, Alta., started from the new eight metre high ramp for the first time in her career and finished ninth on Saturday in the women's supercross at a BMX World Cup competition in Fejus, France.
The same-style ramp will be used at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Chinese city hosted the first of the two supercross World Cup events for the women.
Cools was unable to compete at the Beijing World Cup. The starting ramps were previously three to four metres in height. "It was intimidating and scary," said Cools.
"It's not a disappointing result," said the 21-year-old. "There was something positive for me in each round. I learned a lot about these types of courses. It was a positive performance."
It was a memorable competition for Cools. "This may be my last supercross on this type of course before the Games. The courses at the upcoming World Cups will be different," she said.
Several riders struggled with the ramp. "There were a lot of accidents," said Cools. "World champion Kyle Bennett had a big crash in his semifinal."
Cools was fourth in her quarterfinal heat after finishing her three rounds in fourth, second and fourth. "It went well and I qualified for the semis," she said.
In her semifinal heat she was fifth, less than three-tenths of a second behind world championship silver medallists Sarah Walker of New Zealand, who wound up fourth.
"I was eighth on the start grid, right on the outside lane," Cools said. "I had the fastest start and I settled into third spot. But I was forced to the inside on the second turn and I lost all my speed."
France finished 1-2 with Laetitia Le Corguille earning the gold and Amélie Despeaux second. Gabriela Diaz of Argentina was third.
In the men's race, Patrick Lebel and James Brown, both of Alberta, were eliminated in the round of 16 finishing sixth and eighth in their respective heats.
Cools learned some lessons. "I'll have to be more aggressive and less intimidated at the start. I also realize I'll need to change my training."
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