Australia's Troy Brosnan, the second to last junior man down the mountain at the world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, on Sunday, sped to a narrow victory by six one hundredths of a second ahead of Neko Mulally (United States). Lewis Buchanan (Great Britain), the last man to race, finished third.
"I couldn't believe it when I came across the line," said Brosnan. "I don't think it's sunk in yet."
Mulally, who was fastest in the official timed run two days ago, started 14th out of 49 riders given his low UCI ranking after much of a year off the circuit due to injury. The American clocked a 4:50.77 and spent more than an hour in the hot seat before narrowly losing his spot at the very end.
Mulally proved he was back to good health after breaking his arm earlier this season. "I had hoped to come back in time to do a few more World Cups, but it never worked out. I wanted to do well here, and my race was good. It was a really close race, and I'm happy to be right up there with Troy."
"I wasn't nervous. I just wanted to get down the mountain," said Mulally. "I wanted to do a solid run and not get out of control, and it was over before I knew it."
At the top of his run, Brosnan was thinking, "'What I really need to do is pedal, pedal, pedal.' I was trying to keep a clear head and pin it."
The Australian had no idea at the beginning of the year that he'd be wearing the rainbow stripes. "At the start of the season, I was training back home. My manager said I should do the full World Cup circuit and in it, I got the leader's jersey a few times, which gave me some more confidence. As my season went on, I had ups and downs, but the races helped me learn what I needed to do to win. I've taken everything from every race this year and put it together, and it worked."
After overnight rains, the junior men faced damp conditions and a wet track.
"Coming from Australia, I would have preferred it to be dry, but it was good fun in the mud," said Brosnan. "I was trying to hold speed. I think the muddier track today made it more deserving."
Bronze medallist Buchanan finished just over nine seconds behind Brosnan.
"I started off pretty confident and knew what I had to do. I clipped a rock with my pedal up in the top section. It was hard to concentrate, but I tried to put that in the back of my mind and pedal, although I was quite off the pace."
Still, Buchanan managed to work himself up from fifth at an early split to third by the end. "I focused on getting smooth lines and building speed. This is probably one of the fastest courses we had all year and one of the roughest."
All three medallists are first-year juniors and will return next year to race each other again.
American Mitch Ropelato flatted during his run and rolled across the line with his tire and tube all entangled in his wheel.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Troy Brosnan (Australia)||0:04:50.71|
|2||Neko Mulally (United States Of America)||0:00:00.06|
|3||Lewis Buchanan (Great Britain)||0:00:09.05|
|4||George Brannigan (New Zealand)||0:00:12.37|
|5||Oliwer Kangas (Sweden)||0:00:14.90|
|6||Zakarias Blom Johansen (Norway)||0:00:18.22|
|7||Ludovic Oget (France)||0:00:19.13|
|8||Timothy Bentley (South Africa)||0:00:20.12|
|9||Petr Tresnak (Czech Republic)||0:00:20.34|
|10||Rupert Chapman (New Zealand)||0:00:21.30|
|10||Manuel Gruber (Austria)|
|12||Jed Rooney (New Zealand)||0:00:21.35|
|13||Marius Paccolat (Switzerland)||0:00:21.42|
|14||Daniel Franks (New Zealand)||0:00:22.87|
|15||Freddy Hunziker (Switzerland)||0:00:23.02|
|16||Tyler Allison (Canada)||0:00:24.23|
|17||Carlos Castro (Portugal)||0:00:24.60|
|18||Miikka Lehtinen (Finland)||0:00:25.53|
|19||Nick Geddes (Canada)||0:00:25.69|
|20||Chayse Marshall (Canada)||0:00:26.49|
|21||Antony Moore (Australia)||0:00:26.80|
|22||Evan Powell (United States Of America)||0:00:27.09|
|23||Daniel Lavis (Australia)||0:00:28.95|
|24||Sam Baker (New Zealand)||0:00:29.74|
|25||Sam Flockhart (Great Britain)||0:00:29.95|
|26||Blaz Hölcl (Slovenia)||0:00:30.22|
|27||Remi Gauvin (Canada)||0:00:31.84|
|28||Isak Leivsson (Norway)||0:00:32.72|
|29||Gustavo Cisneros (Argentina)||0:00:33.06|
|30||Nate Furbee (United States Of America)||0:00:33.86|
|31||Trevor Trinkino (United States Of America)||0:00:36.00|
|32||Felipe Escobar (Colombia)||0:00:36.89|
|33||Riley Suhan (Canada)||0:00:37.19|
|34||Philipp Bünnemann (Germany)||0:00:37.74|
|35||Kazuki Shimizu (Japan)||0:00:39.70|
|36||Phillip Piazza (Australia)||0:00:39.76|
|37||Hajime Imoto (Japan)||0:00:40.28|
|38||Nick Grimm (Canada)||0:00:43.03|
|39||Fabian Fader (Germany)||0:00:46.11|
|40||Juan Manuel Orrego Castano (Colombia)||0:00:47.96|
|41||Gabriel Giovaninni (Brazil)||0:00:48.41|
|42||Sam Powers (United States Of America)||0:00:55.39|
|43||Jimmy Wilson (New Zealand)||0:01:08.03|
|44||Marek Petelik (Czech Republic)||0:03:10.61|
|45||Mitch Ropelato (United States Of America)||0:04:36.90|
|DNF||Kyle Sangers (Canada)|
|DNF||Martin Bryson (United States Of America)|
|DNS||Simon Dinkelman (South Africa)|