Caroline Buchanan (Australia) raced to her second consecutive elite women's four cross world championship title last weekend at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. Winning the second time was just as sweet for the young Australian.
"It feels just as good," she said. "I think I'm someone who thrives under pressure. I used it last year with 10,500 screaming fans." In 2009, she won her title in front of a home audience in Canberra, Australia.
"Last year I had more home crowd support, but I had to calm my nerves more. This year, I still got butterflies in my stomach, but I was more relaxed. I knew the track wouldn't be as good for me this year, but I had to get out in front and then I knew I'd be ok."
Buchanan,who was coming off of what she called a stressful BMX racing season, said she was pushed right to the finish line in the finals.
The elite men and women competed under the lights at night in Mont-Sainte-Anne. "It iwas a little hard to see, but yellow tinted lenses helped. Luckily, we all knew the course well, especially with all the camera flashes going off."
Unfortunately for four cross fans, they'll have to do without Buchanan on the circuit for the next two seasons.
"For 2011 and 2012, I'm on a tight leash for Australia and I'll be focusing on the BMX and no mountain biking for those seasons. The 2012 Olympics is a big goal. I was too young in 2008, and I think in 2012, I can do BMX in the Olympics," she said.
"I'm still only 19, and I can always come back into mountain biking."