UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2011
Cross Country Junior Women | Team Relay
Published August 31 2011
Words And Photography By Luke Webber
British riders opened the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships with a top-thirty result in the Junior women's race and a top ten in the Team Relay.
On a hot day in Champery and on an exceptionally technical course, British juniors Beth Crumpton and Katy Winton would face a start loop and three laps.
Starting toward the back of the grid, both riders were ready for a tough race, but for Katy an early tangle put her under pressure and in dead last, forcing a visit to the technical assistance zone on the first passing. Nearly three minutes down, the second year Olympic Development Programme athlete was forced to ride an attacking race to avoid being pulled out on the 80% rule, before focusing on gaining positions.
In contrast Crumpton entered the main climb on the start loop in the top thirty riders, but suffered breathing difficulties and finished her first World Championship experience in 33rd.
By lap two, Winton was in touch with the back of a long train of riders and started to make her way through with lap times good for the top-25, the race ending as she reached 28th position.
For both competitors, the World Championships was a learning experience designed to move them forward as bike riders.
Highlighted as an opportunity to score points for Olympic Qualification, the Team Relay saw Britain finish in the top ten in a competitive and volatile race.
Kenta Gallagher led the opening lap for the team against a majority of nations who had decided to put their strongest rider out first. Gallagher rode in the top ten before dropping back slightly to finish his lap in twelfth, handing to Grant Ferguson.
The Olympic Development Programme rider would record the team's fastest lap of the race and move Britain back into the top ten, with Tracy Moseley starting the lap in seventh position.
Moseley - the current downhill World Champion - was picked because of the technical nature of the course and returned just outside of the top ten with Liam Killeen still to race.
Killeen was able to pick off two further placings but couldn't quite overhaul the Sweedish team in eighth, but was nonetheless happy with his performance - pointing toward a tendency to do well at the individual event following competing in a Team Relay.