|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
2003 MTB World championships - CM
Lugano, Switzerland, August 30 - September 7, 2003
Kulhavy wins with a puncture
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Jaroslav Kulhavy won a gold medal for the Czech Repuplic today when he led the junior cross country race from lap one and kept the lead until the finish. Living up to his ranking as the top junior cross country rider in the UCI rankings, Kulhavy clocked the fastest lap time amongst the junior riders in the team relay on Wednesday, his time being the third fastest overall, but he was happy today to be able to deal with that pressure and have a good race. "I was confident after the relay, but I was still very nervous this morning. I am happy now."
On a course that is getting more and more technical with each passing day due to the loose dirt being kicked away leaving rocks and tree roots sticking up higher and higher from the ground, Kulhavy got a good start in the race and by the end of the first lap, had a gap of almost a minute. The closest rider to him early in the six lap race was Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) with Oleksander Yakymenko (Ukraine) and Nino Schurter (Switzerland) coming holding third and fourth position on the course.
With every lap Kulhavy gained close to 20 seconds looking smooth and calm, often racing more like a cyclocross rider on the technical sections, picking up his bike and running for long stretches. On the fourth lap Fuglsang was trailing by 75 seconds and Schurter had moved into third with much encouragement from the huge Swiss crowd lining the course.
It was in the sixth lap that Fuglsang started experiencing mechanical problems leading to his eventual withdrawal from the race. Schurter moved into second place and Yakymenko into third and this is the way it would stay until the finish line with Kulhavy taking the win (with a flat tyre) by 2'27" from Schurter. In the rest of the top ten it was the Canadian Max Plaxton and an onslaught of Australians riders who had gradually been making up time in the latter part of the race. With Guillaume Fabry (France) taking fourth place, Plaxton moved up from 7th place to take 5th at the finish and first year junior, Shaun Lewis (Australia), who's compatriot Mark Frendo had also suffered the misfortune of punctures during the race, moved up into 6th place in the last lap. Rounding off the top ten were Yannik Bernasconi (Switzerland), Jordi Vila Membrado (Spain), Daniel McConnell (Australia) and Jiri Novak (Czech Repulic).
Kulhavy liked the course which he had the opportunity to ride for a week before the race. "The course was very technical with a lot of tempo changes. I thought it was a good course for me." He then explained his flat tyre after the race in a very calm demeanor. "I got the puncture just before the main descent but it was only a very slow leak and I knew I could ride to the finish. I stayed calm because it is a very typical thing to happen and it wasn't so bad."
Cyclingnews also caught up with the young Australians Lewis and McConnell, after the race, who were pretty excited about their results. "We caught up on the descent on the last lap. The course was great because it was so technical but people were really aggressive out there though, nobody wants to let you pass and they stick their elbows out to try and stop you." Australian Coach Damian Grundy was ecstatic with the performance of all the Australian riders, six of whom finished in the top 30. "We have a great group of juniors here this year and they all rode so well and it helps that the course really suits the Australians because it is technical and it doesn't have a lot of climbing.
Images by Kristy Scrymgeour
More cross country men pics
Images by Kristy Scrymgeour
Results - 36 km
1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 1.51.51 (19.79 km/h) 2 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 2.27 3 Oleksandr Yakymenko (Ukraine) 4.53 4 Guillaume Fabry (France) 7.03 5 Max Plaxton (Canada) 7.28 6 Shaun Lewis (Australia) 7.38 7 Yannik Bernasconi (Switzerland) 8.40 8 Jordi Vila Membrado (Spain) 8.57 9 Daniel Mcconnell (Australia) 9.00 10 Jiri Novak (Czech Republic) 9.19 11 Mark Frendo (Australia) 9.46 12 Jan Skarnitzl (Czech Republic) 10.09 13 Quincy Vens (Belgium) 10.54 14 Kryspin Pyrgies (Poland) 11.26 15 Stephan Noser (Liechtenstein) 11.40 16 Tim Ottens (Netherlands) 11.49 17 Aleksi Hoffman (Finland) 12.10 18 Giuseppe Clara (Italy) 13.32 19 Manuel Gschnell (Italy) 13.43 20 Lukas Hanus (Slovakia) 14.17 21 Matthew Molan (Australia) 14.33 22 James Maebus (Australia) 14.56 23 Pawel Szpila (Poland) 15.09 24 Luka Kodra (Slovenia) 15.20 25 Jamie Lamb (Canada) 15.26 26 Fabio Cappi (Italy) 16.02 27 Hans Becking (Netherlands) 16.18 28 Liro Leppanen (Finland) 16.23 29 Alistair Farley (Australia) 16.42 30 Christian Willi (Switzerland) 16.58 31 Bruno Morgado (Portugal) 1 lap 32 Kohei Yamamoto (Japan) 33 Sam Schultz (USA) 34 Michal Lami (Slovakia) 35 John Devine (USA) 36 Juraj Uhlarik (Slovakia) 37 Cyril Calame (Switzerland) 38 Giorgos Fattas (Cyprus) 39 Ignacio Rivero (Argentina) 40 Jordi Vila Camps (Spain) 41 Tiago Dias (Portugal) 2 laps 42 Bryan Fawley (USA) 43 Andras Herczog (Hungary) 44 Bunnie Loubser (South Africa) 45 John-Lee Augustyn (South Africa) 46 Bret Townsend (Australia) 47 Thorsten Walter (Germany) 48 Bradley Fairall (Canada) 49 Chris Thorpe (Canada) 50 Miha Halzeh (Slovenia) 51 Jean-Sebastien Perron (Canada) 52 Michael Mcclure (USA) 53 Ken Onodera (Japan) 54 Lewis Ferguson (Ireland) 55 Robert Mennen (Germany) 56 Ian Legg (Great Britain) 3 laps 57 Florian Ackermann (Germany) 58 Christo Toua (South Africa) 59 Karlis Lusis (Latvia) 4 laps 60 Marios Athanasiadis (Cyprus) 61 Balint Nagy (Hungary) DNF Jiri Friedl (Czech Republic) DNF Klaus Leeb (Austria) DNF Gilles Devillers (Belgium) DNF Andrew Erb (Canada) DNF Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) DNF Angel Espigares Rodrigue (Spain) DNF François Bailly Maitre (France) DNF Martin Matrat (France) DNF Richard Firth (Great Britain) DNF Tino Meyer (Germany) DNF Rene Tann (Germany) DNF Andrea Tiberi (Italy) DNF Ivan Ordonez Ortiz (Mexico) DNF Matthew Dewes (New Zealand) DNF Karol Wrobel (Poland) DNF Mathiaz Budin (Slovenia) DNF Ziga Trampuz (Slovenia) DNF Adrian Gehrig (Switzerland) DNF Michael Hutter (Switzerland) DNF Michel Luginbuehl (Switzerland) DNF Karl-Emi Lindgren (Sweden) DNF Perry Paolini (USA) DNS Luka Rakusa (Slovenia)
Two years running for Mathison
Australian Lisa Mathison became junior world cross country champion today for the second year in a row. Mathison came into the lead early in the first lap was unmatched until the finish eventually winning by almost four minutes.
On a very technical course, 29 riders started the junior women's cross country race to complete four laps for a total of 24.8km. Last year's winner Mathison was the one to watch according to most people, but she was not so confident that she could repeat. "I didn't expect to have such a big lead," Mathison told Cyclingnews. "The other girls have been going so well all year and I thought it was going to be more difficult for me this year."
The course however, was perfect for Mathison and within a couple of kilometers of the start she already had a convincing lead on the other riders. "The course was definitely to my liking. I love the technical aspect of mountain bike riding, so the course was fantastic for me." Mathison commented after the race. At the end of the first lap, she had extended her lead to over a minute.
Last year's silver medallist Elisabether Osl (Austria) and Bronze medallist Petra Bublova (Czech republic) both experieced problems on the course with Osl puncturing and Bublova crashing, and neither finished the race. Out on the course it was German rider Almut Grieb and Swiss riders Emilie Siegenthaler and Bettina Schmid who were riding towards medals with Italian, Eva Lechner making quick time coming from behind.
With one lap remaining, Mathison's consistent ride saw her over four minutes in front of Lechner who had caught all the other riders in front of her. Mathison came home with a finish time of 1hour 27'08" to take her second consecutive gold medal, with Lechner taking Silver and Grieb, Bronze.
Quietly spoken Mathison was excited after the race and couldn't keep the grin off her face. "I am relieved, because I thought it was going to be a struggle for me this time. When I took the lead I just tried to focus and keep riding, keep riding."
Mathison has been living and training under the giudance of Chantal Decourt, who is the MTB coach for the UCI World Cycling Center Team based in Aigle, Switzerland having spent many years racing MTB and road at a professional level herself. "I really enjoy it there," Mathison told cyclingnews, "There are so many people with such a variety of personalities. It's great to learn about new cultures and learn new languages, and I have learnt so much from Chantal as she has so much racing experience."
Asked what her plans are for the future, Mathison is looking forward to relaxing a bit and after that she is adamant that for the immediate future she will remain in mountainbike racing. "First I am going to party a bit. After that, definately mountain biking is what I want to do. I love mountainbiking because I love the technical riding. Maybe in the future I will try road racing, but now I want to stay on the MTB. Road racing is very difficult mentally and I don't really see myself as a strong rider on the road. I really want to ride for a professional mountainbike team next year and then I'll take it from there."
Second placed rider in today's race, Eva Lechner was happy with her race despite her crash early on. "I had a really good start today but I crashed and fell behind. It is not usually my style to come from behind in a race, but today I had to and it worked pretty well. I am happy with my race.
Images by Kristy scrymgeour
1 Lisa Mathison (Australia) 1.27.08 (15.84 km/h) 2 Eva Lechner (Italy) 3.54 3 Almut Grieb (Germany) 4.17 4 Emilie Siegenthaler (Switzerland) 5.10 5 Bettina Schmid (Switzerland) 5.32 6 Marlena Pyrgies (Poland) 6.03 7 Daniela Graf (Switzerland) 6.51 8 Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland) 7.03 9 Bianca Knoepfle (Germany) 7.04 10 Tereza Jonsova (Czech Republic) 8.04 11 Nina Homovec (Slovenia) 8.42 12 Francisca Campos Salas (Chile) 11.42 13 Laura Israel (France) 14.13 14 Nikki Harris (Great Britain) 14.40 15 Gabriela Glaus (Switzerland) 16.06 16 Kylie Case (Canada) 17.51 17 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) 18.51 18 Erica Österlund (Sweden) 22.57 19 Catherine Vipond (Canada) 20 Sónia Campos (Portugal) 21 Rocio Martin Rodriguez (Spain) 22 Grace Koerber (USA) 23 Olivia Gagne (Canada) 24 Brook Baker (Canada) 25 Carmen Bassingthwaighte (Namibia) DNF Elisabeth Osl (Austria) DNF Barbora Bohata (Czech Republic) DNF Petra Bublova (Czech Republic) DNF Sabra Davison (USA)