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UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2013

Date range:
August 28 - September 1, 2013

August 30, Junior men downhill:

Rude wins gold for USA in junior men's downhill at MTB Worlds

Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
August 30, 2013, 10:27 BST,
August 30, 2013, 18:19 BST

Vergier and Jones round out top three

American Richard Rude Jnr claimed the Junior men's downhill World Championship ahead of Frenchman Loris Vergier (left) and Great Britain's Michael Jones (right) in blustery conditions on Friday at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg

American Richard Rude Jnr claimed the Junior men's downhill World Championship ahead of Frenchman Loris Vergier (left) and Great Britain's Michael Jones (right) in blustery conditions on Friday at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg

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Richard Rude brought the United States its first medal of the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Friday morning, when he won the junior men's downhill race. Top qualifier Loris Vergier (France) finished second at 5.726 seconds, ahead of Michael Jones (Great Britain) at 7.402 seconds.

Reflecting on his run, Rude said, "I wasn't thinking too much. I knew I had to get to the middle with the pedalling section and give it all there. I was thinking that there wasn't many people out on course - it was kind of dead. Otherwise, I wasn't thinking too much and was trying to stay focused."

Forty-nine junior men took to the start on a sunny, windy, cool Thursday morning. As the first few dozen racers sped down the mountain, the hot seat regularly changed occupants.

The first rider to break 4:20 was American Luca Shaw with a time of 4:19.625, which knocked 3.837 seconds off the previous best time.

Five riders later, Noel Niederberger (Switzerland) bumped Shaw from the hot seat, logging a time of 4:14.424, thus setting the bar another 5.201 seconds faster.

Six more riders later, Dean Lucas (Australia) came close to the best time, but had to settle into the second spot at that time.

But the next man down the mountain was Michael Jones (Great Britain), who went 0.381 seconds faster for a new best time of 4:14.083.

"Pedalling is not really my thing," said Jones. "I was really driving the pedals coming into this race. I tried to make up as much time as I could up top. I found myself getting wild in the technical stuff to make up time ahead of the pedalling. I couldn't do much more."

Rude, the second fastest in the official timed session that was used for seating, blazed down the mountain to beat Jones. Rude clocked a 4:06.640 and stepped nervously into the number one spot.

"I definitely think I made up my time on the pedal section to bottom," said Rude. "It's one of those things you have to train for. I knew if I gave it all there, there wasn't too much at the bottom left except for jumps. Then you'd just have to hang on." A look at the race splits confirmed Rude's thinking that he did well through the pedalling. He was 22nd, the fourth, then first at the three splits.

"I've always ridden cross country and road. I had less time on my downhill bike than I had wanted before this, and this track was different from other tracks we rode earlier in the year. We used different tires, cut them down a bit to get better rolling resistance. We didn't change suspension much, just wanted to keep it supple."

Frenchman Vergier was the last to go and a real threat to Rude, but he couldn't pull off the win and finished in a time of 4:12.367, good enough for second place, but still 5.725 seconds slower than Rude. He was first as of the second split but lost time at the very end.

"The wind was too much in one section where it was not fast," said Vergier. "The pedalling was so hard just after that - maybe because the wind slowed you down before it. At the finish on the jump, I was feeling so tired."

Jones' time was good enough for a bronze medal.

Full Results

Junior men downhill
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Richard Rude Jr (United States Of America) 0:04:06.640  
2 Loris Vergier (France) 0:00:05.727  
3 Michael Jones (Great Britain) 0:00:07.403  
4 Noel Niederberger (Switzerland) 0:00:07.784  
5 Dean Lucas (Australia) 0:00:08.908  
6 Luca Shaw (United States Of America) 0:00:12.985  
7 Mckay Vezina (Canada) 0:00:13.944  
8 Thomas Crimmins (Australia) 0:00:14.101  
9 Mark Wallace (Canada) 0:00:14.938  
10 Gianluca Vernassa (Italy) 0:00:15.674  
11 Phil Atwill (Great Britain) 0:00:15.753  
12 Jay Fesperman (United States Of America) 0:00:16.822  
13 Innes Graham (Great Britain) 0:00:17.774  
14 George Gannicott (Great Britain) 0:00:18.192  
15 Francesco Colombo (Italy) 0:00:18.267  
16 Aiden Varley (Australia) 0:00:18.488  
17 Peter Knott (Australia) 0:00:18.869  
18 Alexandre Fayolle (France) 0:00:19.127  
19 Du Plessis J P (South Africa) 0:00:19.482  
20 Luca Cometti (United States Of America) 0:00:19.547  
21 Lucas Eduardo Alves De Borba (Brazil) 0:00:20.125  
22 Walker Shaw (United States Of America) 0:00:20.131  
23 Cole Picchiottino (United States Of America) 0:00:21.639  
24 Ben Hill (Australia) 0:00:21.646  
25 Jure Zabjek (Slovenia) 0:00:22.019  
26 Luke Ellison (Australia) 0:00:22.262  
27 Daniel Algarra Navarro (Spain) 0:00:22.481  
28 Brent Smith (Australia) 0:00:24.533  
29 Martin Lebl (Czech Republic) 0:00:24.535  
30 Lawrence Cawte (New Zealand) 0:00:24.746  
31 Michael Melles (New Zealand) 0:00:24.780  
32 Jakob Thunell (Sweden) 0:00:25.563  
33 Joshua Mccombie (New Zealand) 0:00:26.301  
34 Andrew Martin (South Africa) 0:00:27.221  
35 Tian Strooh (South Africa) 0:00:27.247  
36 Sam Herd (Great Britain) 0:00:27.455  
37 Connor Harvey (New Zealand) 0:00:27.502  
38 Siegfried Zellner (Germany) 0:00:27.607  
39 Theo Erlangsen (South Africa) 0:00:28.099  
40 Jamahl Stringer (New Zealand) 0:00:28.293  
41 Raphael Kammlein - Cutler (New Zealand) 0:00:29.313  
42 Joshua Barth (Germany) 0:00:30.736  
43 Rastislav Baranek (Slovakia) 0:00:31.016  
44 Francisco Matias (Chile) 0:00:35.310  
45 Gregg Brown (South Africa) 0:00:45.383  
46 Luke Evans (South Africa) 0:00:48.810  
47 Masaki Kato (Japan) 0:01:01.859  
48 Ramiro Maio (Argentina) 0:01:09.127  
49 Theo Ngubane (South Africa) 0:01:33.497  
DNS Kyle Lockwood (New Zealand)