Great Britain’s Alice Barnes finished seventh in the junior women’s cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Barnes, 18, ended three minutes and 52 seconds behind winner Alessandra Keller of Switzerland over the four lap race. Italy’s Emilie Collomb took second and Germany’s Sarah Bauer third.
In the junior men’s race Britain’s Michael Thompson fought back to finish 19th after being caught behind a crash on the start line which hindered his early progress. Seven minutes ahead of the Briton, Germany's Lukas Baum took the rainbow jersey with Canadian Peter Disera second and Italian Gioele Bertolini third.
"Chuffed with 7th in the world champs! Hardest race of my life for sure. Thanks for all the messages an support," Barnes tweeted after the race.
British junior women’s champion Barnes, who had completed a double domestic victory with overall success in the British Cross Country Series, was fifteenth after lap one and gradually worked her way through the field.
By the last lap she had formed a three person group with Austria’s Nadja Heigl and South Africa’s Bianca Haw and the trio briefly worked together before Heigl pushed ahead and Barnes then left Haw behind to cross the line alone confrotably in the top ten.
In the men's race, Thompson was left a minute behind the front of the field through no fault of his own after a startline crash delayed him, but consistent top 15 lap times helped the youngster work through the field and end in the top 20, though the top ten would have surely beckoned if not for the early setback.