Graves and Buchanan win world championships
Riding at home at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia, two of the host nation's gravity racers won World Championship titles in the four cross on Friday.
The 18-year-old Caroline Buchanan kicked off a stellar night for the Australian in the women's race where she defeated two former World Champions and veteran racers, Jill Kintner and Melissa Buhl.
Buchanan was racing in her hometown. "There was a lot of pressure, a lot of media," said 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 hometown 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."
In the men's race, Graves took a title he's been chasing for years. As the World Cup series leader, he was the favorite going into the event, and en route to victory, he often won his heats by a comfortable margin.
"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."
In the final, Graves defeated Romain Saladini (France) and Jakub Riha (Czech Republic) as well as defending champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Spain).
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