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Australian MTB Series 2006 Round 2 - NE

Lithgow, NSW, October 29, 2006

Results Photography

Buchanan wins second round as men's final ends early

By Sharon Payne

The Men's final run down the State Mine Track at Lithgow was cancelled in an unprecedented decision by officials at the Australian National Mountain Biking Series opening round. The decision saw elite men and under 19 riders unable to complete their final run today. Record numbers of riders, delays in accessing a section of the track to assist injured rider and concern over safety as light began to fade led to the organiser's decision.

"The decision was based on the injured rider's safety and the number of competitors yet to go down the track," said Chief Commisaire Grant Medlock. "It's the first time I've had to make that type of decision. In the 20 years of mountain biking it's the hardest decision I've had to make."

Tony Scott, the CEO of Mountain Biking Australia added, "There is a technical rule that allows the winners to be recorded from their qualification times."

World bronze medallist, Nathan Rennie (Gold Coast), qualified in tenth place and had no chance to improve his position or breaking his course record of 2.58.0 due to the cancellation. Brad Kelly (Sydney) qualified the fastest in the seeding run, posting a time of 3.05.59, and was the eventual winner. Bryn Atkinson (Victoria) was second fastest and second overall while Adam Smithson (Newcastle) and Dave West (Adelaide) qualified third and fourth respectively. The 2005 World Junior Champion, Amiel Cavalier (Wollongong) qualified fifth fastest.

The women riders made their final run before the track was closed with Caroline Buchanan (Canberra) taking her second National Series race victory in one week. It was the young BMX rider's first foray into downhill racing. "Now when I look at BMX tracks they look easy," she joked. Buchanan won in 3.55.71 with fellow ACT riders Cara Smith and Claire Whiteman finishing second and third respectively.

Whiteman was the highest placed Australian in 17th place at the World Mountain Bike Championships in Rotorua during August. Both Whiteman and Smith had crashes in the switchback section of the track but finished the final run.


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Images by Evan Jeffery


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