Sallfelden, Austria (September 8, 2012) – Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team) won the bronze medal in the elite women’s cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria today. Her success was complemented by a strong eighth-place ride by Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Racing), as well as a fifth-place effort by Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) in the junior men’s event.
Olympic champion Juliet Bresset (France) went off the front and assumed the leader’s position early on in the race. At the half way point, Bresset was the solo leader with Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa chasing in second. Gould had spent the first half of the race moving up in the field, and with three laps to go, she found herself alone, chasing the first- and second-place riders. Bresset held off silver medalist Gunn-Rita for the win. And despite a last lap crash, Gould managed to hold off a small chase group and cross the finish line for the bronze medal.
“This is a great way for Georgia to finish up her season,” said USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Program Director, Marc Gullickson. “To be able to back up her bronze medal ride in London with a podium result at the Worlds is proof that she has found her place in the very top tier of women’s mountain bike racing.”
Gould adds this latest piece of hardware to the Olympic bronze she won last month. Coupled with the bronze medals won by Willow Koerber in 2009 and 2010, the success illustrates the strength of American women on the international mountain biking stage.
Also to note in today’s elite women’s race was the outstanding eighth-place effort of 2012 U.S. Olympian Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Racing)
In the junior men’s event, American Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) closed out a stellar season that saw him achieve multiple top-ten world cup results, as well as a national title. In the last race of his junior career, the Utah rider rode to fifth-place behind new world champ Anton Cooper (New Zealand). Grabbing the silver and bronze medals in the junior men’s affair were Frenchmen Victor Koretzkyand Titouan Carod.
“Keegan put in a solid ride for fifth today,” Gullickson said. “I think he is well-positioned to make a very successful transition into the U23 ranks next year and expect him to be quite competitive judging from his success in the junior category this season.”
2012 Olympian Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) posted the top result for the red, white and blue in the elite men’s competition in 35th place. The medals were swept by Switzerland with Nino Schurter winning the world title, and Lukas and Mathias Fluckiger taking second- and third-place respectively.
The Mountain Bike World Championships will wrap up tomorrow with the brand new Cross-Country Eliminator competition.
2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
September 6-9, 2012
1. Juliet Bresset (France)
2. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)
3. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna Pro Team)
8. Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt. / Specialized Racing)
25. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
33. Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass ./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
1. Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
2. Lukas Fluckiger (Switzerland)
3. Mathias Fluckiger (Switzerland)
35. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing)
1. Anton Cooper (New Zealand)
2. Victor Koretzky (France)
3. Titouan Carod (France)
5. Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing)
50. Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized)
Source: Keri S. Kahn