By Greg Johnson
Up-and-coming Australian mountain biker Caroline Buchanan is looking to ride a selected, self-funded World Cup program in 2009, after being unable to find a team for this season. Buchanan won her first World Cup race in August last year, in the 4X discipline of her home round, having made her World Cup debut just months earlier in North America.
"I have had many dramas and struggles trying to pick up a ride for 2009," said Buchanan. "I am riding as a privateer, you could say. Mum and dad - my biggest sponsors - are going to scrape the bank and hopefully get me to some of the World Cups, but I won't be able to get to all of them this year because it's just too expensive.
"This is pretty disappointing for me as doing the whole World Cup MTB series was one of my goals for 2009," she added.
The Canberra local hopes to contest this year's World Cup rounds in Andorra, Scotland and Slovenia. She will also take part in the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships which will be held in Canberra, Australia where she claimed her maiden World Cup win and also grew up.
While Buchanan is disappointed she hasn't gotten a sponsored ride this season, it hasn't all been bad news. In addition to winning another Australian 4X title last month, Buchanan has joined the Australian BMX Elite Development Squad, training towards the 2012 Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom.
Buchanan will contest the Denmark BMX Supercross event before starting her mountain biking program. She will also contest the UCI BMX World Championships held in Adelaide, Australia this year.
"I think I am very lucky this year to have two World Championships in Australia and I'm definitely going to make the most of it," she said.