Kerschbaumer claims junior men's race

Second gold for Italian after team relay

Italy won its second gold medal of the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Thursday, when Gerhard Kerschbaumer took the junior men's cross country title.

Kerschbaumer, who earlier in the week was part of the Italian gold medal team relay squad, was the dominant rider in the race, dropping Portugal's Ricardo Marinheiro on the fourth lap of the five lap event.

Marinheiro finished 1:19 behind, with Reto Indergand of Switzerland taking the bronze medal, a further 15 seconds in arrears. Canada's Mitchell Bailey was the top North American, finishing 28th, followed by Evan Guthrie in 30th.

A select group of four riders broke away on the first lap - Kerschbaumer, Marinheiro, Indergand and Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland). Stirnemann was dropped on the second lap, and the other three rode together until lap four, when Kerschbaumer upped the pace, first shedding Indergand on the singletrack climb at the start of the lap, and then Marinheiro after the first feedzone in the second half of the lap.

Kerschbaumer steadily pulled away to take the title, while Marinheiro barely held off Indergand and a revitalized Stirnemann for the silver medal.

"The race went very well, it was perfect because my legs were perfect," said Kerschbaumer. "The track was very tough and very technical but the atmosphere and the conditions helped me to win. On the first two or three laps, I was very calm and was trying to control the other riders and then on the fourth lap I overtook everyone on the climb."

Marinheiro was content with his second place, giving Portugal its first medal of the championships. "I am happy with the result. I tried very hard, but Kerschbaumer was very strong on the uphill sections and I could not manage to stay with him there. After that, I wanted just to hold on to second place."

Canada's top ranked rider, Evan Guthrie, suffered a broken handlebar in the first lap, causing him to crash heavily. After stopping in the pit for mechanics to replace his bars, Guthrie restarted in 70th place. He rode strongly through the rest of the race and managed to move up 40 places to finish 30th overall.

"I hit a jump on the downhill section the wrong way, really hard, and I guess it weakened my bars," explained Guthrie. "In the next corner when I leaned on them, the end of the bar just broke off and I went down pretty hard. It's really too bad, because I was feeling so good today. After a bit of a poor start I was moving up, sitting in the top 20 when it happened. But, overall, I'm happy, my ride was really good, and I am stoked that I was able to move up so many spots."

One rider garnering a lot of local attention is Australia's Brendan Johnston. Johnston was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had an operation in the weeks leading to today's race, and will commence chemotherapy next week.

"Today was tough, very tough. I don't know if you know about my problems at the moment. It was so important for me to start today. Only four or five days ago I committed myself to racing, so it was just unreal to even be on the start line and to finish in the top 50 was incredible."

"The emotions were pretty high. At the top corner there, it just came to me and I just realized what I've achieved. It's not an outstanding ride, but I was there, and I did it. I lost a lot of fitness during the operation and all the time off I had just a couple of weeks out (from the race), so it wasn't ideal preparation."

"I broke my collarbone earlier this year at a national race and missed out on the team trip to Europe, but I went to Canada and raced the two World Cups and that was good, and then coming back from there I got the blood values about the cancer. So it's been a rough year, and its only just starting sort of thing - after this I have a lot more to go."

Junior Men
1Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy)1:31:01 
2Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro (Portugal)0:01:19 
3Reto Indergand (Switzerland)0:01:34 
4Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)0:01:38 
5Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)0:03:19 
6Hugo Drechou (France)0:03:32 
7Julian Schelb (Germany)0:03:38 
8Luca Braidot (Italy)  
9Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)0:04:57 
10David Miguel Costa Rodrigues (Portugal)0:05:26 
11Ruben Scheire (Belgium)0:05:55 
12Dirk Peters (New-Zealand)0:06:01 
13Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands)0:06:09 
14Richard Anderson (New-Zealand)0:06:13 
15Lukas Loretz (Switzerland)0:06:18 
16Wenzel Böhm-Gräber (Germany)  
17Mitchell Codner (Australia)0:06:48 
18Daniele Braidot (Italy)0:07:06 
19Rourke Croeser (South Africa)0:07:12 
20Jeff Luyten (Belgium)0:07:17 
21Martin Gluth (Germany)0:07:29 
22Michael Baker (Australia)  
23Roger Walder (Switzerland)0:08:15 
24Bart De Vocht (Belgium)0:08:40 
25Maciej Adamczyk (Poland)0:08:45 
26Gregor Raggl (Austria)0:08:58 
27Jonas Pedersen (Denmark)0:09:03 
28Mitchell Bailey (Canada)0:09:04 
29Nicholas Pettina (Italy)0:09:43 
30Evan Guthrie (Canada)0:09:45 
31Vid Tancer (Slovenia)  
32Kenta Gallagher (Great Britain)0:10:24 
33Mauricio Foronda (Colombia)0:10:47 
34Marcus Schulte-Luenzum (Germany)0:10:48 
35Urban Ferencak (Slovenia)0:11:09 
36Cameron Ivory (Australia)0:11:13 
37Patrick Avery (New-Zealand)0:11:15 
38Emilien Barben (Switzerland)0:11:38 
39Daniel Vesely (Czech Republic)0:12:27 
40Carlos enrique Moran Manzo (Mexico)0:13:14 
41Russell Finsterwald (United States Of America)0:13:15 
42Amotz Nehoray (Israel)  
43Eric Emsky (United States Of America)0:13:52 
44Daniel Hula (Slovakia)0:13:56 
45James Reid (South Africa)0:14:01 
46Ignacio Espinoza (Chile)  
47Frederico Mariano (Brazil)0:14:17 
48Steven James (Great Britain)0:15:09 
49Attila Bela (Hungary)0:15:28 
50Brendan Johnston (Australia)0:16:12 
51James Peacock (Australia)0:16:18 
52Antoine Caron (Canada)0:16:46 
53Kevin Santana (Argentina)0:16:51 
54Michalis Kittis (Cyprus)0:17:08 
55Tyler Allison (Canada)0:19:32 
56Ivan Smirnov (Russian Federation)0:20:27 
One lap down
57Locky Mcarthur (New-Zealand)  
58Mario Luis Miranda Costa (Portugal)  
59Logan Horn (New-Zealand)  
60Kieran Hambrook (New-Zealand)  
61Nikolay Zaitsev (Kazakhstan)  
62Kyriakos Sketos (Cyprus)  
Two laps down
63Almaz Almabayev (Kazakhstan)  
64Idomu Yamamoto (Japan)  
65Brenton Jones (Australia)  
Three laps down
66Vadim Galeyev (Kazakhstan)  
67Adrian Retief (New-Zealand)  
DNFJordan Sarrou (France)  
DNFJan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)  
DNFZach Mcdonald (United States Of America)  
DNFJavier Etcheto (Argentina)  


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