UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2011
Cross Country Under-23 Men | Fourcross Finals
Downhill Official Timed Sessions
Published: 2 September 2011
Report: Luke Webber - Live from Switzerland
Fionn Griffiths took Britain's second medal of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, with a daring ride in the fourcross competition bagging her silver.
On a night when carnage and luck played an equal role alongside tactics and tenacity, Griffiths took the first risk of riding a downhill bike on the steep and technical Champery course.
After qualifying second, there was no doubt Griffiths had the speed, but on the gate the bike was a disadvantage - something which would prove critical in the final.
In the early rounds, Griffiths moved through convincingly, but in a final containing Anneke Beerten and Melissa Buhl, the Brit was sandwiched out of the gate and bullied out of contention.
But in possibly the move of the night, Griffiths took an inside line to move back into the silver medal spot - but it wasn't enough to take the gold Griffiths was clearly frustrated to miss out on, in the post-race press conference.
"I'm not happy to come second" Griffiths told the media, before explaining the final.
"I was happy riding my downhill bike, I did two practise runs on my fourcross bike and was not comfortable on it. I am a downhiller first and foremost. In the final I knew the gate was important and when I got squeezed by the two girls I wasn't happy. I rode a line I'd never ridden before - not even in practise - and thankfully it paid off. But not as well as I wanted."
British men's fourcross racing suffered a dissappointing night with no rider making it past the second round of racing. Both Will Evans and Scott Roberts went out in the opening round when drawn in the same heat, while Scott Beaumont went out in round two after a bad gate, on what was a one turn and one line track that split rider opinion.
UNDER-23 MEN CROSS COUNTRY
Great Britain's Kenta Gallagher scored a massively impressive 26th place in the U23 Men's Cross Country, which was won by home-boy Thomas Litscher of Switzerland.
British Cycling's Olympic Academy athlete was gridded 63rd but the first year U23 showed that he meant business from the gun, quickly slicing through the field and heading toward a top twenty placing while still inside the first lap. A man on a mission, he continued to ride in his characteristically aggressively style, getting frustrated at times as he sliced his way through the field, struggling to pass slower riders through the singletrack.
It was perhaps inevitable that, around the halfway point of the race, while attempting a pass, Gallagher had a coming together with another rider, his foot becoming entangled with the rider's rear wheel, resulting in a damaged shoe. Kenta had to pit-in and have his shoe repaired with tape after which he quickly rejoined and began to charge again, continuing to pick off riders who were beginning to crack.
By the beginning of the final lap, the young Scot was up to 23rd position, having made up an incredible 40 places on his grid position. However, the damaged shoe began to seriously affect his ability to transfer power and Gallagher began to slip back, eventually finishing in a still impressive 26th place - a huge achievement for the rider, in his first year as an U23 and hampered by mechanical misfortune and a poor grid position.
Under 23 XC Men
1 LITSCHER Thomas SWITZERLAND 01:32:30
2 KONWA Marek POLAND +01:42
3 MOORLAG Henk Jaap NETHERLANDS +02:13
4 STIRNEMANN Matthias SWITZERLAND +03:33
5 INDERGAND Reto SWITZERLAND +04:17
6 KERSCHBAUMER Gerhard ITALY +05:00
7 SCHULTE-LUENZUM Markus GERMANY +05:13
8 ROSA Diego ITALY +05:27
9 CARABIN Sebastien BELGIUM +05:35
10 SARROU Jordan FRANCE +06:03
11 VAN DER HEIJDEN Michiel NETHERLANDS +06:46
12 SCHEIRE Ruben BELGIUM +07:05
13 IVANOV Timofei RUSSIAN FEDERATION +07:13
14 PETTINA Nicholas ITALY +07:42
15 VAN DER PLOEG Paul AUSTRALIA +07:58
16 EYRING Andy GERMANY +08:06
17 BRAIDOT Luca ITALY +08:34
18 BRZOZKA Piotr POLAND +08:46
19 HUGUENIN Jérémy SWITZERLAND +09:07
20 FLESCHHUT Marcel GERMANY +09:14
26 GALLAGHER Kenta GREAT BRITAIN +10:14
DOWNHILL OFFICIAL TIMED SESSION
Earlier in the day, proceedings kicked off with the Downhill Official Timed Sessions, giving spectators and competitors alike an insight into rider form.
A trio of Britons (Hart, Fairclough and Bryceland) crowded the top ten of the Elite Men's timings, while Rachel Atherton posted the fastest time of the Elite Women, with Tracy Moseley three places behind. Fionn Griffiths placed 9th, ensuring, like the men, that GB were well represented in the top ten.
Manon Carpenter was fastest by some margin in the Junior Women in a time of 4:44, which would have given Carpenter a top ten placing in the Elite Women, while Mark Scott and Lewis Buchanan were 21st and 37th respectively in the Junior Men.
Missing from the Elite Men's timed session was Gee Atherton who opted out due to an injury sustained earlier in the week. Atherton is still set to ride the competition proper.
1 GWIN Aaron UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 03:28.1
2 HART Danny GREAT BRITAIN 5.075
3 THIRION Rémi FRANCE 7.666
4 FAIRCLOUGH Brendan GREAT BRITAIN 8.066
5 SUDING Lorenzo ITALY 9.857
6 BRYCELAND Josh GREAT BRITAIN 10.218
24 BEAUMONT Marc GREAT BRITAIN 19.331
34 PEAT Steve GREAT BRITAIN 24.928
72 CUNNINGHAM Ruaridh GREAT BRITAIN 45.136
1 ATHERTON Rachel GREAT BRITAIN 04:14.7
2 RAGOT Emmeline FRANCE 5.931
3 NICOLE Myriam FRANCE 6.08
4 MOSELEY Tracy GREAT BRITAIN 6.95
5 BERNHARD Petra AUSTRIA 14.368
9 GRIFFITHS Fionn GREAT BRITAIN 27.212
1 FIGARET Faustin FRANCE 03:39.0
2 BRUNI Loic FRANCE 0.094
3 BROSNAN Troy AUSTRALIA 2.35
4 FEARON Connor AUSTRALIA 6.107
5 OLORENSHAW Reuben NEW-ZEALAND 6.673
21 SCOTT Mark GREAT BRITAIN 23.002
37 BUCHANAN Lewis GREAT BRITAIN 32.1
1 CARPENTER Manon GREAT BRITAIN 04:44.0
2 FOURTON Lea FRANCE 13.689
3 DELEST Agnes FRANCE 19.906
4 ATKIN Sarah NEW-ZEALAND 20.642
5 TYAS Sophie NEW-ZEALAND 25.2