MTB World's: Laura Abril wins junior cross country title

Hungary and Germany round out podium

Laura Abril made her coach, her family and her country proud with Colombia's first-ever cross country world championship win. She earned her title in the junior women's race in Val di Sole. Abril left behind break away companion Barbara Benko (Hungary) on her way to victory in 1:16:08. Despite tiring legs, Benko, who finished seventh in 2007, held on for second 38 seconds back while Mona Eiberweiser (Germany) finished third at 2:11.

On the first of three laps, Abril and Benko escaped together with Vivianne Meyer (Switzerland) and Mona Eiberweiser (Germany) leading the strung-out chase behind. By the end of the first lap, the pair had opened up a 45 second advantage. At the half-way point of the race, their gap had grown to 1:16.

Behind them Eiberweiser started to find her legs and passed Meyer for third. "My start was slow," said Eiberweiser, who was in eighth place very early in the race. "But after the first lap, I found some motivation and moved up."

"I used the first lap to see how the race would go," said Abril of her successful strategy. "And I used the last lap to win." But it was at the end of the second lap where she made her race-winning move.

"I thought I could finish well after the first lap. Then, I had some problems with my legs at the end of the second lap," said Benko. "I tried to go with her on the last climb, but Laura just got away."

For a complete report with photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

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