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Road To 2012
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO
Round 5 Windham, USA
Posted July 9 2011
Words And Photography By Luke Webber
One week prior to the British Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships, British Cycling's Olympic Mountain Bike Performance Programme picked up more points on its pathway to qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games at round five of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
A team of four riders, including Liam Killeen, Annie Last, Dave Fletcher and Kenta Gallagher headed by Programme Manager Phil Dixon were present.
Annie Last recorded her third top-twenty result of the season, finishing 19th and displaying the same early season form she had at the opening two rounds of the World Cup. This season, Last's results of 20th, 14th, 39th, 26th and 19th have solidified her position in international mountain biking - all while being an under-23 rider and racing up a category.
Dave Fletcher recorded a personal-best performance in the under-23 World Cup this year, finishing in fifth place. Now sixth in the under-23 World Cup Series standings, Fletcher takes on a new challenge, racing up a category at the British Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships, where he will challenge for the Elite men's title.
Kenta Gallagher scored his second consecutive top-30 World Cup result, finishing 26th at Windham, just one spot away from scoring UCI points in his rookie year.
Liam Killeen finished his second World Cup of 2011 in the top twenty riders, 17th in Windham. Riding out of a pile up on the start line, Killeen moved quickly into the top twenty riders, with an opportunity to make the top ten, but a number of breaks and reformations of the midfield left Killeen out of touch in the shuffle.
A series of small gaps and ultimately one minute seperated the British Champion from the top ten - one of Killeen's 2011 World Cup goals - his next chance to realise them comes at round six on August 14 in Nove Mesto.