Irmiger wins first US gold medal at Pan Am Games

American mountain biker Heather Irmiger won the first gold medal of the 2011 Pan American Games, finishing the 24.8km cross country mountain bike course with a time of 1:34:09. Laura Lorenza Morfin (Mexico) crossed the line at 1:45 for silver while Canadian Amanda Sin battled her compatriot Mikaela Kofman to take bronze. Noelia Rodriguez (Argentina) was third.

"The people and town of Tapalpa were incredible hosts for our event and the course was perfect for me," said Irmiger who also participated in the 2003 Pan American Games and is fluent in Spanish. "I enjoyed the technical sustained climb and navigating my way through the cobbled streets lined with yelling fans. I found out after the race that my win was the first medal for the games - what an exciting victory! "

Irmirger led the race in Tapalpa, Jalisco from the first lap.

"I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to ride for Team USA at the Pan American Games - it's an event that I have always wanted to be a part of," Irmiger said. "Thanks to everyone with Team USA who helped make this possible!"

Sin fought a hard battle throughout the entire race, especially against teammate Kofman, who suffered a right hand injury in the first seconds of the race as she was pushed down by a competitor. After exchanging the lead back and forth, Sin took off in the last lap to grab the bronze, while Kofman placed fourth not far behind.

"I feel very excited to win a medal here at the Pan-American Games," said Sin. "It's really exciting to win the first medal at these Games, so I am happy to do that for Canada."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heather Irmiger (United States of America)1:34:09
2Laura Lorenza Morfin (Mexico)0:01:45
3Amanda Mae-Ling Sin (Canada)0:03:05
4Mikaela Kofman (Canada)0:03:59
5Noelia Rodriguez (Argentina)0:06:18
6Adriana Rojas Cubero (Costa Rica)0:06:46
7Elisa Maria Garcia (Chile)0:07:04
8Alexandra Gabriela Serrano (Ecuador)0:07:17
9Daniela Campuzano (Mexico)0:09:30
10Liliana Uzcategui (Venezuela)0:09:55
11Laura Valentina Abril (Colombia)0:10:46
12Erika Gramiscelli (Brasil)0:16:34
DNFJennifer Edith Portillo (El Salvador)


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