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Americans close Pan Am MTB Championships on the podium

Americans Stephen Ettinger and Mary McConneloug earned a pair of medals at the Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships Sunday in Brazil.

Ettinger claimed victory in the men’s cross-country race, while McConneloug placed third in the women’s cross-country race.

Ettinger got into the lead group of six riders immediately after the race started, and he rode with them until he attacked with three laps left. The explosive move, coupled with a rainstorm on the final lap that slowed down the course considerably, allowed Ettinger to earn the comfortable win.

Fellow American Spencer Paxson registered a fifth-place result.

McConneloug rode at the front during the opening half of the women’s race, but she dropped back in the hot conditions and eventually finished third. Teammate Erin Huck placed fourth after moving up from the seventh spot on the course.

On Saturday, American Matthew Branney rode to third place in the junior men’s downhill event.

Other Americans grabbing top-10 results in Brazil were Neilson Powless (fourth) and Sean Bennett (seventh) in the junior men’s cross-country race.

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