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Hediger, Neethling fill the podium
Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) wins the junior women's race.
The first day of individual competition at the 2009 Mountain Bike Worlds in Canberra, Australia opened with the junior women's cross-country, and France took the first title as Pauline Ferrand Prevot beat Michelle Hediger of Switzerland after a race-long battle. South Africa's Candice Neethling took the bronze. The top North American finisher was Jill Behlen in 16th, followed by Essence Barton in 18th.
The three-lap race was between Ferrand Prevot and Hediger from the start. The pair battled back and forth all race, with the Swiss rider better on the technical portions in the first half of each lap, and the French stronger in the second. This should come as no surprise, as Ferrand Prevot has finished second at the Road Worlds in both the road race and the time trial.
It came down to the final half lap, when Ferrand Prevot was able to power away from Hediger and roll in 33 seconds ahead of the Swiss rider.
"In the last lap," explained Ferrand Prevot, "Michelle [Hediger] was leading by a few seconds, but I knew that I was better on the flat, and that is where I was able to take the lead. It was a dream to finally win after finishing twice second."
Neethling took control of third place midway through the first lap, and was never challenged, finishing 1:06 back. The battle for fourth was much tighter, with Israel's Noga Korem initially holding the spot before being overtaken by Germany's Helen Grobert on the final lap.
American Jill Behlen overcame a slow start to move up during the middle part of the race for 16th place at the finish. Essence Barton (USA) moved up to 18th, after Canada's Cayley Brooks faded in the second lap.
"I was not doing good on the technical sections today," explained Behlen. "Usually I like that kind of stuff, but today I was killing people on the fireroad. Riding the course was super fun, and I like the course a lot, but racing it I had a lot of trouble. But it was still a good race. The girls were so fast, especially off the start. I have done a couple of International races so I was ready for it, but still it was 'wow', and they were gone and I was like, 'wait'!
I was able to make up some time. I like the long climbs, and there were not so many on this course but I was able to make up some good time on the fireroads.
|1||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)||1:05:23|
|2||Michelle Hediger (Switzerland)||0:00:33|
|3||Candice Neethling (South Africa)||0:01:06|
|4||Helen Grobert (Germany)||0:03:08|
|5||Noga Korem (Israel)||0:03:23|
|6||Elise Marchal (Belgium)||0:04:25|
|7||Rebecca Henderson (Australia)||0:04:47|
|8||Vania Schumacher (Switzerland)||0:04:57|
|9||Julie Berteaux (France)||0:04:58|
|10||Yue Bai (People's Republic Of China)||0:05:01|
|11||Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)||0:05:38|
|12||Mariske Strauss (South Africa)||0:05:43|
|13||Rozanne Slik (Netherlands)||0:06:43|
|14||Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)||0:06:47|
|15||Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine)||0:07:31|
|16||Jill Behlen (United States Of America)||0:08:17|
|17||Ekaterina Anoshina (Russian Federation)||0:08:18|
|18||Essence Barton (United States Of America)||0:08:49|
|19||Daniela Rojas (Chile)||0:08:59|
|20||Mona Eiberweiser (Germany)||0:09:25|
|21||Cayley Brooks (Canada)||0:09:39|
|22||Alexa Peters (New-Zealand)||0:09:46|
|23||Laura Bietola (Canada)||0:10:36|
|24||Shelly Flood (Australia)||0:10:40|
|25||Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)||0:11:51|
|26||Gillian Burgess (Australia)||0:13:15|
|27||Sarah-kate Mcdonald (New-Zealand)||0:15:24|
|28||Sasha Smith (New-Zealand)||0:15:46|
|29||Natasha Oldcorn (Canada)|
|DNF||Natalia Simorova (Slovakia)|
For more about this week's racing see Cycling News HD