Report: Junior Men XC - 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Posted September 3 2010
If yesterday's cross country performance by Annie Last was one to remember, today's Junior men's race was one defined by potential and mechanical problems.
Hopes for a top-ten performance from second year riders Steve James and Kenta Gallagher were high - especially considering their results at World Cups throughout the season. However on race day, it was first year Junior Grant Ferguson who produced the best result.
Ferguson crossed the line in 15th position, nearly six minutes down on the winner. Most importantly though, Ferguson was only one of two first year Juniors in the top fifteen - possibly the highest placement for a first year rider since Steven Clarke in 2002.
The young Scottish prospect finished the starting loop in tenth position, gradually losing places as the race progressed against his more mature competitors.
Next British rider in was Kenta Gallagher, whose poor position on the start loop was only part of the story. Two punctures during the early stages meant riding in fiftieth position, before Gallagher's last three laps of the five lap race were consistent with finishers in the top twenty. Unfortunately though the damage was done and 35th was the best achievable result.
Steve James started slowly following a puncture on lap one, before crashing heavily on lap three, knocking himself out and subsequently withdrawing from the race.