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Mountain Bike World Championships - CM
Fort William, Scotland, September 4-9, 2007
Race 2 - September 5: Junior women cross country, 25.64km
Last lap charge secures title
By Robert Jones in Fort William
The junior women event was the first cross country event of the championships and was held in typical Scottish weather conditions; drizzling rain and heavy mist. Yet the conditions had little impact on the outcome, with many riders praising the course, saying how tough the climb was.
The race saw the lead change multiple times during the three lap event with the French duo of Julie Bresset and Claire Hassenfratz taking control in the first lap, building a lead of 10 seconds over Alla Boyko (Ukraine), Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland) and Jitka Skarnitzlova (Czech Republic).
A lap later, and Skarnitzlova had taken over the lead, with Boyko and Bresset chasing. The climb proved to be crucial, with Boyko moving into the lead on the final lap and then holding on to win by 28 seconds over the Czech rider with Bresset fading on the final lap to finish 1:35 down on Boyko.
"I had hoped that I could win, but in the European Championships I was only tenth, so I wasn't so sure." said Boyko. "But after the start, on the climb, I knew I could win."
The Ukrainian also started well back in the field, after arriving at the line literally two minutes before the start when she had jersey problems.
"I didn't panic; I knew the course and that I would be okay. Because I arrived so late I guess there was not so much time to panic. The long climb was where I could pass and get to the front."
The top North American finisher was Canada's Andreanne Pichette, riding in her first world championships, and finishing 21st.
"I think it was a good race for me. I would have liked to do better, but it was my first time so I learned a lot and now know what I have to do to get better for the future. It is much faster than the races at home and there is no time to back off anywhere."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
1 Alla Boyko (Ukraine) 1.25.14 (18.05 km/h) 2 Jitka Skarnitzlova (Czech Republic) 0.28 3 Julie Bresset (France) 1.35 4 Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland) 2.00 5 Claire Hassenfratz (France) 2.40 6 Vivianne Meyer (Switzerland) 2.50 7 Barbara Benko (Hungary) 3.31 8 Sanne Cant (Belgium) 3.47 9 Ines Thoma (Germany) 4.03 10 Camille Devi (France) 4.26 11 Katharina Haase (Germany) 4.41 12 Gesa Bruchmann (Germany) 5.36 13 Valentina Abril (Colombia) 6.38 14 Roselisa Palma (Italy) 6.48 15 Polona Batagelj (Slovenia) 8.16 16 Annie Last (Great Britain) 8.29 17 Marta Sulek (Poland) 9.43 18 Maaike Polspoel (Belgium) 11.47 19 Samara Sheppard (New Zealand) 11.56 20 Maria Babanova (Russian Federation) 13.22 21 Andreanne Pichette (Canada) 15.19 22 Annabel Simpson (Great Britain) 19.23 23 Stephanie White (United States Of America) 20.57 24 Melanie Palframan (South Africa) 21.58 25 Genee Steyn (South Africa) 22.27 26 Amy Cox (United States Of America) 28.21