By Sue George, Cyclingews.com
Saturday, September 4, 2010 7.53pm
Czechs finish second and third
Caroline Buchanan (Australia) on her way to winning her second four cross world title. Rob Jones
Sue George, Cyclingews.com
Racing under the lights in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, Australia's Caroline Buchanan defended her world championship title in the elite women's four cross on Friday night. She held off the charge from two Czech challengers: Jana Horakova and Romana Labounkova. Katy Curd (Great Britain) finished fourth.
Buchanan qualified fastest and appeared to easily breeze through the rounds all the way to the finals.
"This year's win feels just as good," said Buchanan. "I still got butterflies in my stomach beforehand. Last year I had more home crowd support, and I knew the track wouldn't be as good for me this year, so I had to get out in front and then I knew I'd be ok."
Buchanan, still only 19, figured out that she had to get to the rock garden first to ensure a win. A tenacious Horakova pushed Buchanan all the way to the line in the finals.
"For me, I saw the chance at the rock garden," said Horakova, "but then I had to chose the second lane on the rocky section, so Caroline was in front of me. I was hoping in the last corner that it was still possible."
The track didn't have much passing, and the start proved very important.
Labounkova and Horakova made a happy pair of Czech riders on the podium. "It's always good when we both have medals," said Labounkova. The Czechs have been a powerhouse in both elite men's and women's racing all season.
Katy Curd (Great Britain) finished fourth in her first time racing four cross at Worlds. "It was a sick fast track. You were coming into some of the corners and it was hard to see with this limited light. Though that was the same for everyone."
World Cup overall champion Anita Molcik was eliminated in the semi-finals after getting passed and being unable to find a line back around.
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.