Davison inspired after winning bronze medal for USA

Mountain biker completes comeback from second major hip injury

Lea Davison was all smiles after her career-best performance on Saturday - a bronze medal in the elite women's cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Hafjell, Norway.

"It feels amazing. It's so meaningful to have that happen after spending half the season off the bike. I just got to training in June," the American rider told Cyclingnews.

"My injury was involved and not ideal. I was walking around on crutches for four weeks in January and February. In April, I was moving my hip around in the pool and wondering how I was going to make this happen. My coach said the entire time that he wasn't worried, but I was a little worried. It proves that hard work and determination paid off."

It was the second time Davison injured her hip - once on each side - and then had to have surgery and go through subsequent lengthy rehabilitation.

Davison didn't properly resume racing until the US National Championships in July, which she won.

Her previous career-best finish was two fourth places at World Cups - once in Hafjell last year and once at Mont-Sainte-Anne, almost a home course for Davison.

"I knew this course was good for me and they added in more technical elements. I was feeling good all week and hoping I would have the legs today," she said. "The field was strong this year and with so many different World Cup podiums, you never know."

Davison raced a bit in front of and in awe of Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa. "My first Worlds was in Vail, Colorado in 2001 and I was a junior and got to watch Alison Dunlap win over Gunn-Rita and I was thinking today that I'm racing Gunn-Rita now."

What's next for Davison is to race a few enduros for fun in the US. "I usually go to CrossVegas but I can't run yet because of my hip and I won't go to Langkawi stage race because there are a bunch of hike-a-bikes, I can't do yet."

"I guess this is just short, but sweet season."

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