Norwegian Lene Byberg was satisfied with her silver medal in the Mountain Bike World Championships elite women's Olympic Cross Country race, despite missing out on the victory. She had dominated much of the race, riding solo out front for several laps.
Byberg's rise throughout the 2009 season has seen her compared to compatriot Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, who has taken 12 months off after having her first child. Byberg's consistency throughout 2009 has been motivating.
"It is unbelievable because every season for the last couple or three years I've been improving slowly, slowly," she said "This year has just been great. I had been on the podium now and then, but this year its been much more stable."
"It0s good that there is two of us now," said Byberg, referring to Dahle Flesjå and herself as competitive Norwegian cross country riders. "Hopefully she comes back in great shape for next year."
Byberg admitted the unique Canberra, Australia, course saw her approach the race differently. Unlike her usual style of riding up through the field, which saw her win the Bromont World Cup, Byberg stayed at the front from the gun.
"My legs felt good so I decided that I'd try to go fast from the start. It's a special course, because if you go too hard on the first climb you can make so many mistakes around the rocks and technical parts."
Byberg was clearly disappointed when crossing the finish line. After leading much of the race, Russian Irina Kalentieva passed her leading into the final section of single track. After riding back from 21st place, Kalentieva the continued her charge to take a solo victory.
"It was a little disappointing after the finish line, but I'm happy," said Byberg.