The dust has settled on the World Mountain Bike Championship in Canberra, Australia, which wrapped up on Sunday after nearly a week of competition. France, a traditional powerhouse mountain bike country, walked away with top bragging rights after winning nine total medals, including three gold, four silver and two bronze.
France opened the championships with a team relay win. For cross country medals, Alexis Vuillermoz took silver in the Under 23 men's race, Julie Bresset won bronze in the Under 23 women's race, Pauline Ferrand Prevot won the junior women's race, and Julien Absalon won silver in the men's race. Gravity racing went just as well for the well-rounded French with a win by Emmeline Ragot in the women's downhill, a gold and silver by Anais Pajot and Julie Berteaux in the junior women's downhill, and a silver by Romain Saladini in the men's four cross.
Racing at home, Australia's mountain bikers put in many impressive performances to take second in the medal tally with five total medals - two gold, one silver and two bronze. The hosts were helped by double gold medals in the four cross, one from Jared Graves and one from Canberra local Caroline Buchanan. Shaun O'Connor won silver in the junior men's downhill and Mick Hannah took bronze in the elite men's downhill after taking last year off racing.
Switzerland tied Australia in total medals, but finished third in the tally by virtue of one less gold. The usually strong Swiss struggled some with a stomach bug that swept through the ranks, but still finished with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals thanks to their talented cross country squad. Nino Schurter surprised everyone with a men's cross country win while Michelle Hediger earned silver in the junior women's cross country. Florian Vogel, Thomas Litscher and Reto Indergand collected bronze medals in the elite, under 23 and junior cross country races.
The United States of America had a successful world championship with four medals for fourth in the medal tally. Three female gravity racers led the medal collection efforts - in the four cross with Jill Kintner and Melissa Buhl taking second and third respectively and in the downhill with Kathy Pruitt taking a bronze. Willow Koerber kept the medal-getting efforts an all-women's affair for the Americans when she had the race of her life to take third in the cross country.
South Africa, the nation that hosted the 2009 World Cup opening round, completed the top five medal standings with one gold, one silver and one bronze. Under 23 cross country racer Burry Stander won the gold. Greg Minnaar was second in the downhill and Candice Neethling was third in the junior women's cross country.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||France (three gold, four silver, two bronze)||9||medals|
|2||Australia (two gold, one silver, two bronze)||5|
|3||Switzerland (one gold, one silver, three bronze)||5|
|4||United States Of America (one silver, three bronze)||4|
|5||South Africa (one gold, one silver, one bronze)||3|
|6||Great Britain (one gold, one silver, one bronze)||3|
|7||Italy (two gold)||2|
|8||Poland (one gold)||1|
|9||Russian Federation (one gold)||1|
|10||New Zealand (one gold)||1|
|11||Canada (one silver)||1|
|12||Norway (one silver)||1|
|13||Portugal (one silver)||1|
|14||Sweden (one silver)||1|
|15||Czech Republic (one bronze)||1|
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