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Aussie world champs commence title defence

Australia's world four cross champions Jared Graves (Toowoomba) and Caroline Buchanan (Canberra) will begin their campaign to retain their coveted rainbow jerseys when racing gets underway at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canada this week.

The formidable pair spearhead a 32-racer strong Australian team, who will join more than 800 athletes from over 50 countries in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, to vie for the world title from September 1-5.

Graves, 27, enters the 2010 championships in impressive form after taking out his second World Cup series title in the United States last weekend.

Buchanan is even more determined to win back-to-back world mountain bike titles after a disastrous BMX world championships campaign last month, during which the 20-year-old crashed out in the semi finals when a stroke of bad luck saw her brake lever get caught on her pants and put her out of the final.

The duo were the star performers on home soil in Canberra last year, when Australia played host to the 2009 world championships. Australia recorded its most successful campaign in history, securing five medals - Graves and Buchanan earning the coveted rainbow jersey, Shaun O'Connor winning silver in the junior men's downhill and a bronze for Michael Hannah (men's downhill) and Holly Baarspul (junior women's downhill).

Two-time downhill world champion Samuel Hill (2006-2007) from Western Australia will also line up on the start line in Mont-Sainte-Anne, as will 17-year-old downhill young gun Troy Brosnan from South Australia, one of the most promising junior talents on the world circuit.

Australian cross country champion Rowena Fry and national series victor Lachlan Norris will lead Australia's cross country charge.

Australian team for 2010 Mountain Bike World Championships

Elite women four cross
aroline Buchanan
Sarsha Huntington

Elite men four cross
Richard Levinson
David Habicht
Jared Graves
Randall Huntington

Elite women cross country
Rowena Fry
Heather Logie
Kate Potter
Katherine O’Shea

Elite men cross country
Andrew Blair
Lachlan Norris

Under 23 women cross country
Gracie Elvin
Therese Rhodes

Under 23 men cross country
Cal Britten (VIC)

Junior men cross country
Kyle Ward (NSW)
Mitchell Codner (NSW)
Trenton Day (NSW)
Cameron Ivory (NSW)

Elite men downhill
Shaun O'Connor
Bryn Atkinson
Mitchell Delfs
Samuel Hill
Chris Kovarik

Junior men downhill
Troy Brosnan
Phillip Piazza
Daniel Lavis

Junior women downhill
Holly Baarspul
Emily Hockey

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