Champéry, Switzerland (Sept. 1, 2011) – Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo-Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) gave the U.S. its best finish in the junior men’s cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in over a decade on Thursday. Grotts eighth-place finish marks the first time a junior cross country rider has broken the top 10 since Walker Ferguson won the world title in 2000.
Grotts, who earlier this year became the first American junior to win an official UCI Mountain Bike World Cup event, started in strong position in the nearly 100-rider junior men’s field. The current junior 17-18 cross-country mountain bike national champion Grotts was able to move as high as fifth place before falling into eighth on the slick, wet Champéry course.
Overnight rains made the already challenging, technical course even more difficult to maneuver as Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./AZ Devo) was the only other American to finish the junior men’s race, in 59th.
National champ Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./University of Wyoming) was the top American finisher in the U23 women’s race in 31st. Kaila Hart (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College) also suffered on the tough course finishing 40th.
Despite breaking a finger in Wednesday’s team relay competition, national champion Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development) will lead a strong contingent of espoir men into Friday’s U23 men’s cross country race. Friday’s racing at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will also feature the men’s and women’s 4X finals. Watch for a full wrap-up and photos via usacycling.org.
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, 2011
Junior Men’s Cross-Country
1. Victor Koretzky (FRA) 1:07:18
2. Anton Cooper (NZL) +01:18
3. Andrey Fonseca (CRC) +01:19
8. Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) +3:15
59. Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./AZ Devo) +12:38
DNF Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Whole Athlete-Specialized)
DNF Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif.)
U23 Women’s Cross-Country
1. Julie Bresset (FRA) 1:32:29
2. Annie Last (GBR) +01:30
3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA) +05:47
31. Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./University of Wyoming) -3 laps
40. Kaila Hart (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College) -3 laps
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
Source: Andrea Smith, USA Cycling