Events

Australia and France take junior downhill in Kaprun

Australia had another banner day in the junior men's downhill, taking twoof the three medals for the second year in a row. The French junior womenfinished 1-2 with American Leana Gerrard finishing fourth to post the bestAmerican result so far in the 2002 UCI world mountain bike championships.Sam Hill gave the Aussies their third junior men's gold medal in fouryears, proving that Australia has replaced France as the source of hotyoung downhill talent. Hill rode cleanly on the 1.99-mile course to winin 5 minutes, 22.01 seconds with an average speed of 22.23 mph."I made a couple of little

By Andrew Hood

Sam Hill

Sam Hill

Photo: Andrew Hood

Australia had another banner day in the junior men’s downhill, taking twoof the three medals for the second year in a row. The French junior womenfinished 1-2 with American Leana Gerrard finishing fourth to post the bestAmerican result so far in the 2002 UCI world mountain bike championships.Sam Hill gave the Aussies their third junior men’s gold medal in fouryears, proving that Australia has replaced France as the source of hotyoung downhill talent. Hill rode cleanly on the 1.99-mile course to winin 5 minutes, 22.01 seconds with an average speed of 22.23 mph.”I made a couple of little mistakes in the woods, but overall it cametogether well,” said Hill, 17, of Perth. Hill crashed hard in Thursday’sseeding run, but rode smooth enough in the finale to edge Atherton, fastestin qualifying.Great Britain’s George Atherton finished second at 1.61 seconds slowerwhile fellow Aussie Justin Havukainen joined Hill on the podium in thirdat 2.62 seconds slower.”The course dried out a lot and all the lines changed from Thursday,”said Atherton, known simply as “G”. “I was hitting new lines during practicebut I’m happy. It was close.”Last year’s silver medalist Julien Camellini of France put down thefastest early time of 5:25.78, but it was only good enough for fourth.Finland’s Matti Lehikoinen, second fastest in qualifying, said he clippeda tree and lost his rhythm en route to a seventh-place finish. Pre-raceFrench favorites Jerome Clementz and Fabien Cibelly could only muster 10thand 11th, respectively.Cody Warren, 17, of San Diego, crashed once when his back wheel slippedout in a technical root section but still posted the best American resultat 22nd at 25.91 seconds slower. Daniel Umland was 26th at 28.49 slowerwhile top American qualifier Henry O’Donnell crashed three times to finish35th at 36.85 slower. Steven Wentz was 53rd.In the women’s junior race, Emmeline Ragot easily won the rainbow jerseyout of a field of only nine starting racers. She covered the course in6 minutes, 27 seconds.35 secconds with an average speed of 18.48 kph.Finishing second was compatriot Claire Bauchet at 7.59 seconds closerwhile Ecuador’s Diana Marggraff took the bronze at 10.95 seconds slowerto earn South America’s first-ever world championship mountain bike medal.Gerrard finished fourth at 33.54 seconds slower while Magen Long, whoraced in Friday’s junior cross-country race, was seventh at 55.92 secondsslower.

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Results

Results: junior women’s downhill

1.  Emmeline Ragot (F), 6 minutes, 27.35 seconds, 18.48 mph

2. Claire Bauchet (F), 6:34

 3. Diana Marggraff (Ecu), 6:38

 4. Leana Gerrard (USA), 7:00

 5. Bernadit Pizzaro (Chile), 7:03

 6. Brook Baker (Can), 7:13

 7. Magen Long (USA), 7:23

 8. Darcy Turenne (Can), 7:35

 9. Ida Sylwan (Swe), 7:41

– nine starters

Men’s junior downhill

1.  Sam Hill (Aus), 5 minutes, 22.01 seconds, 22.23 mph

2. George Atherton (GBr), 5:23.62

3. Justin Havukainen (Aus), 5:24.62

4. Julien Camellini (F), 5:25

5. Mark Beaumont (GBr), 5:29

6. David McLaughlin (Aus), 5:30

7. Matti Lehikoinen (Fin), 5:31

8. Mario Schurter (Swi), 5:37.01

9. Andrew Neethling (RSA), 5:37.78

 10. Jerome CLementz (F), 5:38.32

 11. Fabien Cibelly (F), 5:38.97

 12. Thibaut Ruffin (F), 5:42.04

 13. Yoann Barelli (F), 5:42.11

 14. Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze), 5:42.35

 15. Richard Cheetham (GBr), 5:42.69

 16. Alan Beggin (I), 5:44.06

 17. Luke Strom (Aus), 5:44.88

 18. Atte Korhonen (Fin), 5:44.99

 19. Damien Spagnolo (F), 5:46.7

 20. Justin Leov (NZ), 5:46.94

North Americans:

22. Warren Cody (USA), 5:47

26. Daniel Umland (USA), 5:50

30. Thomas Vanderham (Can), 5:54

32. Henry O’Donnell (USA), 5:58

38. Kwanah Sioui-Moar (Can), 6:00

52. Mathieu Lagrange (Can), 6:14

53. Steve Wentz (USA), 6:15

– 65 starters