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Bresset pulls off the Olympic - Worlds double

After Julie Bresset (France) won the Olympic women's cross country mountain bike race three weeks ago, there wasn't much time to get ready for the world championship race, held this weekend in Saalfelden, Austria.

"For me, today was amazing because I did not prepare for this race," she said. "I had a lot of obligations after the Olympics and travel."

The lack of time to train or think about the race plus having already won the Olympics may have been just what Bresset needed to boost her to victory at Worlds. It meant no pressure and no expectations.

Doing so well in London was good for her mind and body. "Preparing for the Olympic Games was very important, and so today I was more confident," she said.

"Today I was very relaxed because after winning the Olympic gold medal, I was happy," she said. "It's very difficult for to me to realize what has happened. The gold medal of a world champion is very amazing."

Bresset should know. She won the under 23 women's cross country world championship last year, but as a first-year elite, this is her first elite title. There could be many more to come.

She said her technical skills are what helped her to victory in Saalfelden. "I was relaxed and my mind was good. In the technical sections, I was at ease. I liked the course although the road sections were not fun. The laps were very fast today."

The young French woman will take a break now and will not race cyclo-cross this winter season.

"Last year, all winter was for preparing for the Olympic Games. I am looking forward to next season's World Cup," she said.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.