Strikes up fifth rainbow jersey at just 23
Australia's Caroline Buchanan won the UCI Four Cross World Championships in Leogang, Austria, ahead of Katy Curd (Great Britain) and Anneke Beerten (Netherlands).
Buchanan started her year with the audacious plan to achieve a unique cycling world championship ‘triple crown' by chasing gold at the respective BMX, downhill and four cross world titles.
The 23-year-old got the ball rolling by comfortably winning the BMX world title in New Zealand in August. Less than four weeks later, she finished fifth in the Downhill at the UCI MTB and Trials Championships in South Africa. Now she has claimed her second rainbow jersey for the year and proven that her initial plans were not as lofty as they may have initially seemed.
"This is my fifth career world championship title and it was one of the hardest to win," said Buchanan after winning her third career 4X world title after claiming the crowns in 2009 and 2010 as well as the 2012 BMX time trial world title.
"This year has been a huge challenge. I set myself big goals, three world championships in two months," she added. "BMX world champion, Downhill fifth in the world and now 4X world champion for the third time.
"It's not easy but the hard work is worth it. Time to breath and take stock. I'm so grateful for my support network."
In the final, Buchanan started swiftly to establish an early gap and never looked back.
Tony Scott, executive officer of Mountain Bike Australia was similarly thrilled with Buchanan's performances throughout the year.
"It is hard enough to be a single world champion in one year; the pressure is just so intense," said Scott. "So the win in Leogang to now possess both the BMX and 4X world champion rainbow jersey is one of legend.
"The nature of Caroline's personality is possible informed by her campaign in South Africa for the DH World Championships and where, when I asked her about the disappointment in finishing in 5th spot said:
"'Yes but how many BMX riders could have done that?'
"Congratulations Caroline; Australia's only dual world champion in two different cycling disciplines."