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MTB World Cup XC #8 & DH #6 - CDM

Canberra, Australia, August 29-31, 2008

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Race 4 - August 30: Elite women 4X,

Buchannan storms to home town win

By Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Canberra, Australia

Australia's Caroline Buchannan, 17, stormed to her first World Cup victory in the women's four cross
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Local wonder-child Caroline Buchannan stormed to her first World Cup victory in the women's four cross. The 17 year-old Australian, who hails from Canberra, took advantage of her intimate knowledge of the circuit to dominate first her semi-final and then the final.

"It feels like so much more than just another race on my home track. It feels amazing," an emotional Buchannan said. "The best riders in the world are here and this is only the second time that I have made a World Cup final and to be on top of the podium at only 17 – I am stoked, it hasn't set in yet."

Buchannan used her explosive power to take the hole-shot and build up an early lead ahead of the Anneke Beerten.

"I knew that I had good starts and that it was going to be a hard race," Buchannan explained. "I was dead on the start and I knew that I had to get pumped for it. The crowd got me the rest of the way. "

With a clear run to the finish, it looked unlikely that Beerten would catch Buchannan, but with a late surge she almost drew level coming into the final turn. Showing class and composure beyond her years, Buchannan didn't let Beerten's surge ruffle her feathers as she blasted across the line, with the huge Canberra crowd going nuts at her win.

Receiving the congratulations of her competitors on the podium, it slowly sunk in just what she had achieved. As the huge Australian crowed sang along with the national anthem Buchannan, draped in the Australian flag, bust into tears.

With her second place Beerten took over the world cup lead as they head to Schladming, Austria.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph

Results

1 Caroline Buchanan (Aus)
2 Anneke Beerten (Ned) MS-Intense Factory-Racing
3 Julia Boer (Hun)
4 Anita Molcik (Aut) 4 Elements Yeti/Hotec/RSP
5 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team
6 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) MS-Intense Factory-Racing
7 Diana Marggraff (Ecu)
8 Sarsha Huntington (Aus)