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2003 MTB World championships - CM
Lugano, Switzerland, August 30 - September 7, 2003
Mathison looks to repeat, New blood in men's race
By Kristy Scrymgeour in Lugano
This year's cross country course is 6.2km long and said to be challenging suiting those with good technical skills. Thomas Frischknecht, who is a household name in the world of mountain biking, helped design the course which has since been described as a "winding, quick and committing track which requires constant attention."
The course starts and finishes at the base of Monte Tamaro, near Lugano, Switzerland at 471m above sea level. It gradually climbs to a peak of 561m where it plateaus out for 1km before dropping back down to the finish line. Junior women will complete four laps for a total of 24.8 km on Wednesday morning.
Last year's junior winner Lisa Mathison (Australia) is back this year to defend her title for her final year in the junior ranks and arrives here after a successful year to date. After winning last year's title she was offered a UCI scholarship and has spent most of 2003 training and racing in Aigle, Switzerland which is only 40km from the UCI center. She has been competing in the World cups this year against the senior women and is currently ranked 68th, an impressive standing for a junior. She has also enjoyed top five placing in four of the five Swisspower cup races during the year. She will be looking forward to a repeat of last year's result on a technical course that suits her style of riding.
The history of this women's event has seen many of its victors move on to become major players in the elite ranks on both the road and the dirt. Included in those is current World Cup leader on the road, Nicole Cooke who won this event in 2001 and received a bronze medal in 2000. Another success story to come out of the junior ranks in the Cross Country event is Maja Wlosczowska (Poland) who placed second in both 2001 and 2003 and has come back this year to win the first ever Marathon World Championship Title here in Lugano on Sunday.
Wlosczowska is looking forward to racing in the senior category for the first time this year after her 6th placing in the recent European Championships. "I am hoping for a top five placing in the cross country," she told Cyclingnews after her Marathon win. "After my sixth place at the European Championships, I don't think top five is unrealistic."
The junior men's cross country race will be held on Thursday morning when they will complete five laps of the 6.2km course for a total of 31km. Last year's winner Trent Lowe is not on the start list as he is now in the U23 category and is out due to a broken knee. Second and third placed riders from last year, Louri Trofimov (Russia) and Tony Longo (Italy) will ride in the U/23 category.
Success stories have also come out of previous winners of the men's junior world championships such as Julien Absalon (France), Walker Ferguson (USA) and Ryder Hesjedal (Canada). Absalon went on to win the U/23 event in Austria last year and is now ranked number one in UCI points going into this year's World Championships as a senior. Ferguson and Hesjedal also enjoy successful careers in the MTB world, riding on the same team this year for Subaru Gary Fisher.
1 Lisa Mathison (Australia) 2 Elisabeth Osl (Austria) 3 Brook Baker (Canada) 4 Kylie Case (Canada) 5 Olivia Gagne (Canada) 7 Catherine Vipond (Canada) 8 Francisca Campos Salas (Chile) 9 Barbora Bohata (Czech Republic) 10 Petra Bublova (Czech Republic) 11 Tereza Jonsova (Czech Republic) 15 Laura Israel (France) 19 Nikki Harris (Great Britain) 20 Almut Grieb (Germany) 21 Bianca Knoepfle (Germany) 22 Eva Lechner (Italy) 23 Carmen Bassingthwaighte (Namibia) 24 Marlena Pyrgies (Poland) 25 Sónia Campos (Portugal) 27 Nina Homovec (Slovenia) 28 Gabriela Glaus (Switzerland) 29 Daniela Graf (Switzerland) 30 Bettina Schmid (Switzerland) 31 Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland) 32 Emilie Siegenthaler (Switzerland) 33 Erica Österlund (Sweden) 34 Sabra Davison (USA) 35 Grace Koerber (USA) 36 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) 37 Rocio Martin Rodriguez (Spain)
Junior women First Second Third 2002 Lisa Mathison (Australia) Elisabeth Osl (Austria) Petra Bublova (Czech Republic) 2001 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) Maja Wlosczowska (Poland) Julie Pesenti (France) 2000 Sonja Traxel (Switzerland) Maja Wlosczowska (Poland) Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) 1999 Anna Szafraniec (Poland) Lea Fluckiger (Switzerland) Sonja Traxel (Switzerland) 1998 Cecile Rode (France) Severine Hanson (France) Sandrine Guironnet (France) 1997 Cecilia Potts (USA) Helena Eriksson (Sweden) Anna Szafraniec(Poland) 1996 Helena Eriksson (Sweden) Emelie Ohrstig (Sweden) Sonja Morf (Switzerland)
Junior men First Second Third 2002 Trent Lowe (Australia) Louri Trofimov (Russia) Tony Longo (Italy) 2001 Inaki Errasti Lejarreta (Spain) Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway) Trent Lowe (Australia) 2000 Walker Ferguson (USA) Inaki Errasti Lejarreta (Spain)Florian Vogel (Switzerland) 1999 Nicolas Filipi (France) Carlos Coloma (Spain) Florian Vogel (Switzerland) 1998 Julien Absalon (France) Ryder Hedjedal (Canada) Frederik Modin (Sweden) 1997 Franz Kehl ((Switzerland) Matthias Mende (Germany) Marian Masny (Slovakia) 1996 J Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain) Mickael Reynaud (France) Haakon Austad (Norway)