Nicole Koller won a gold medal for Switzerland in the junior women's cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Thursday in Hafjell, Norway. Koller finished the four-lap race on a bright and sunny day ahead of Denmark's Malene Degn and another Swiss rider, Sina Frei.
"To me it was a good race," said Koller. "I had a strong fight with Nicole. We battled the whole race."
Degn set the early fast pace, followed closely by the Czech Republic's Barbora Prudkova and last year's junior women's world champion Alessandra Keller (Swizterland).
"All year I had bad starts and today it was important for me to get a good start," said Degn.
Meanwhile, Koller steadily worked her way up from her 15th place starting spot toward the front, and she was within sight of Degn by the end of the first lap. She chased the Dane with her teammate Frei.
"The first part of the race I was in the back, and I had to fight forward to make it up to Marlene," said Koller.
Prudkova fell back several places toward the end of the first lap.
On the second lap, Degn and Koller were together, marking each other while Keller and Frei chased them.
It wasn't until the end of lap three that Koller was able to get a slight gap on Degn, but from then on, she extended her lead, riding in solo for the gold medal 1:19 ahead of Degn in second.
Degn said, "I could feel that she was stronger than me on the uphills, so I had a hard time. On the last lap, she got a gap that I couldn't close, but silver is good enough for me."
"I realized my advantage on the downhill on the last lap," said Koller. "I got 30 seconds, and then I just had to look out that I didn't crash or have any problems."
Last year's world champion Keller faded a bit near the end of the race as Frei powered to a bronze medal. Keller was fourth ahead of Prudkova, who seemed to recover toward the end of the race.
Satisfied with her bronze medal, Frei said, "It's amazing - a dream come true. I don't have any words to describe this."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nicole Koller (Switzerland)||1:06:16|
|2||Malene Degn (Denmark)||0:01:06|
|3||Sina Frei (Switzerland)||0:01:27|
|4||Alessandra Keller (Switzerland)||0:01:49|
|5||Barbora Prudkova (Czech Republic)||0:02:10|
|6||Evie Richards (Great Britain)||0:03:00|
|7||Isla Short (Great Britain)||0:04:51|
|8||Chiara Teocchi (Italy)||0:05:51|
|9||Marlena Drozdziok (Poland)||0:05:52|
|10||Greta Seiwald (Italy)||0:06:13|
|11||Antonia Daubermann (Germany)||0:06:39|
|12||Marine Lewis (Canada)||0:07:05|
|13||Ffion James (Great Britain)||0:07:26|
|14||Tatiana Kuznetcova (Russian Federation)||0:07:31|
|15||Marit Sveen (Norway)||0:08:04|
|16||Jana Czeczinkarova (Czech Republic)||0:09:02|
|17||Aline Seitz (Switzerland)||0:09:16|
|18||Laure Souty (France)||0:10:14|
|19||Nadja Heigl (Austria)||0:10:39|
|20||Marlo Koevoet (Netherlands)||0:11:03|
|21||Harriet Beaven (New Zealand)||0:12:12|
|22||Cléa Cochelin (France)||0:12:48|
|23||Anna Gabrielsen (Norway)||0:12:57|
|24||Marina Semenova (Russian Federation)||0:13:07|
|25||Lisa Neumuller (Germany)||0:13:32|
|26||Frances Du Toit (South Africa)||0:13:38|
|27||Ksenia Lepikhina (United States Of America)||0:14:33|
|28||Soren Meeuwisse (Canada)||0:15:28|
|29||Laurie Arseneault (Canada)||0:17:00|
|30||Meda Petrusauskaite (Lithuania)||0:18:40|
|31||Shea Chavez (United States Of America)||0:22:09|
|-1lap||Patrycja Piotrowska (Poland)||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|-1lap||Ana Sofia Silvestre (Portugal)||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|-1lap||Megan Williams (Australia)||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|-1lap||Brenda Santoyo (Mexico)||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|-1lap||Paige Foxcroft (Canada)||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|-1lap||Dayana Gilliant Garcia Garcia (Mexico)||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Bianca Haw (South Africa)||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ellie Wale (Australia)||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Sarah Bauer (Germany)||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result||Header Cell - Column 3|
|2||Great Britain||94||Row 1 - Cell 3|
|3||Italy||62||Row 2 - Cell 3|
|4||Czech Republic||59||Row 3 - Cell 3|
|5||Canada||51||Row 4 - Cell 3|
|6||Germany||44||Row 5 - Cell 3|
|7||Russian Federation||42||Row 6 - Cell 3|
|8||Norway||42||Row 7 - Cell 3|
|9||France||40||Row 8 - Cell 3|
|10||Poland||39||Row 9 - Cell 3|
|11||Denmark||38||Row 10 - Cell 3|
|12||United States of America||22||Row 11 - Cell 3|
|13||Austria||21||Row 12 - Cell 3|
|14||Netherlands||20||Row 13 - Cell 3|
|15||New Zealand||19||Row 14 - Cell 3|
|16||South Africa||14||Row 15 - Cell 3|
|17||Lithuania||10||Row 16 - Cell 3|
|18||Mexico||8||Row 17 - Cell 3|
|19||Portugal||7||Row 18 - Cell 3|
|20||Australia||6||Row 19 - Cell 3|
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