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Austalian downhill championships - CN

Thredbo, NSW, Australia, January 20-22, 2006

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Race 2 - January 20: Women Four-cross

Buchanan crowned champion (but Kintner wins)

By Andrew Threlfall, Freewheel.com.au

Jill congratulating Buchanan
Photo ©: Andrew Threlfall
(Click for larger image) Jill congratulating Buchanan on winning the Australian title.

The Elite Women's event wasn't quite as nail biting, but the racing was still hard and fast. American import and 2005 MTNX World Champion, Jill Kintner (GT), made an appearance for the second year running and, as expected, dominated the women's field. Unlike last year, there was a large contingent of women in the field including BMXer's turning their hand to the bigger-wheeled and gravity-fed MTNX.

When the qualifying was finished and the start gate was loaded, it was a battle between the youngsters - 16yo 2005 Australian DH Champion Tracy Hannah and 15yo Caroline Buchanan- who faced off next to the accomplished Jill Kintner and gun BMXer Renee Junga. Unlike their male counterparts, the women managed to keep the racing clean and Kintner took out the race with Buchanan right on her tail, leaving Tracey Hannah to fill the third step on the podium. Even though she took out the race, being an American, Kintner is not eligible for the Aussie title meaning that Buchanan was crowned Australian MTNX champion for 2006.

"It feels good racing against the World Champion," said Buchanan. "She's an awesome rider, mixing it up with all the boys. She's a great role model."

While Buchanan isn't a stranger to winning even though she is only 15, she is a relative stranger to mountain biking, this being her third ever MTB race. "I'm seven time Australian BMX champion for my age and I'm currently 6th in the world," she said. Buchanan will only be 18 when the Beijing Olympics roll around and as you need to 19 to be allowed to race BMX at an Olympics she already has her sights set on London, 2012. Watch this space...


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Andrew Threlfall/www.webaddress.com


1 Jill Kintner (USA/GT)
2 Caroline Buchanan (Free Agent)*
3 Tracey Hannah 
4 Renee Junga 
5 Claire Whiteman 
5 Sarsha McGowen 
7 Emma McNaughton 
7 Sarah Booth 
9 Melissa Hamilton 
10 Siobhan Jones 
11 Carla 
12 Alice Minahan 
13 Ragen Suttie 

*Australian champion