Posted by Editoress on 09/1/09
The first day of individual competition at the 2009 Mountain Bike Worlds in Canberra, Australia opened with the Junior Women's cross-country, and France took the first title as Pauline Ferrand Prevot beat Michelle Hediger of Switzerland after a race long battle. South Africa's Candice Neethling took the bronze. The top Canadian finisher was Cayley Brooks in 21st place, with Laura Bietola finishing 23rd and Natasha Oldcorn 29th after a crash.
The three lap race was between Ferrand Prevot and Hediger from the start. The pair battled back and forth all race, with the Swiss rider better on the technical portions in the first half of each lap, and the French stronger in the second. This should come as no surprise, as Ferrand Prevot has finished second at the Road Worlds in both the road race and the time trial.
It came down to the final half lap, when Ferrand Prevot was able to power away from Hediger and roll in 33 seconds ahead of the Swiss rider.
"In the last lap," explained Ferrand Prevot, "Michelle [Hediger] was leading by a few seconds, but I knew that I was better on the flat, and that is where I was able to take the lead. It was a dream to finally win after finishing twice second."
Neethling took control of third place midway through the first lap, and was never challenged, finishing 1:06 back. The battle for fourth was much tighter, with Israel's Noga Korem initially holding the spot before being overtaken by Germany's Helen Grobert on the final lap.
The top North American finisher was Jill Behlen, in 16th place, who overcame a slow start to move up during the middle part of the race. Barton Essence (USA) was 18th, after Brooks faded in the second lap, dropping back from 18th.
"This was really really fun," commented Brooks. "It was a good experience and I am really excited to watch the elite races! The start was super fast today, and even though I was expecting it, it was still a shock. But it was pretty wide at the start on the double track, so it was pretty easy to get by some people and make up time. The descent was good - it was so fast!"
"The technical sections were good - it spread out a bit before on the climb, so even on the first lap we weren't too close to each other and we were able to have a bit of space so everything was rideable. My goal was to be top Canadian, so I am very happy to achieved it, and I am looking forward to next year at [Worlds in] Mont St Anne."
Natasha Oldcorn crashed at the rocky descent (the HammerHead), and believes she flatted there at the same time. She ran the main descent into the first feed zone, where she received a new wheel.
"I crashed at the rocky descent, and I think I flatted there. .I was doing okay, and then that happened, and I had to run, and then it all started to really hurt."
The lead vehicle passed her during the second half of the course, and she was officially pulled from the course at the 80% tent, finishing a lap down.
|Junior Women - 19.41 km - Average Speed: 17.81 km/h|
|1 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)||1:05:23|
|2 Michelle Hediger (Switzerland)||at 0:33|
|3 Candice Neethling (South Africa)||1:06|
|4 Helen Grobert (Germany)||3:08|
|5 Noga Korem (Israel)||3:23|
|6 Elise Marchal (Belgium)||4:25|
|7 Rebecca Henderson (Australia)||4:47|
|8 Vania Schumacher (Switzerland)||4:57|
|9 Julie Berteaux (France)||4:58|
|10 Yue Bai (People's Republic Of China)||5:01|
|11 Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)||5:38|
|12 Mariske Strauss (South Africa)||5:43|
|13 Rozanne Slik (Netherlands)||6:43|
|14 Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)||6:47|
|15 Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine)||7:31|
|16 Jill Behlen (United States Of America)||8:17|
|17 Ekaterina Anoshina (Russian Federation)||8:18|
|18 Barton Essence (United States Of America)||8:49|
|19 Daniela Rojas (Chile)||8:59|
|20 Mona Eiberweiser (Germany)||9:25|
|21 Cayley Brooks (Canada)||9:39|
|22 Alexa Peters (New-Zealand)||9:46|
|23 Laura Bietola (Canada)||10:36|
|24 Shelly Flood (Australia)||10:40|
|25 Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)||11:51|
|26 Gillian Burgess (Australia)||13:15|
|27 Sarah-kate Mcdonald (New-Zealand)||15:24|
|28 Sasha Smith (New-Zealand)||15:46|
|29 Natasha Oldcorn (Canada)||-1lap|
|DNF Natalia Simorova (Slovakia)|
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