By Sue George, Cyclingnews.com

Sunday, September 4, 2011 11.59am

Carpenter races to world championship despite three crashes

Manon Carpenter (Great Britain) raced to a gold medal at the junior women's world championship downhill on Sunday morning. Agnes Delest (France) took silver ahead of Lauren Rosser (Canada) with bronze.

It started to pour rain in the hour before the junior women were scheduled to race. The wet conditions made the already challenging track even more treacherous and the first few women could barely get down the track - they were crashing all over the place.

"It's good it started raining well before so it was the same for everyone," said Carpenter, who is from Wales and has plenty of experience riding and racing in wet conditions.

But even Carpenter crashed three times during her run.

"I had three crashes, two at the top," said Carpenter. "I was starting to panic and was like, 'stay on, stay on,' and then I took a wrong line coming into the bottom and crashed again."

"I'm used to riding in the rain although that track is chaos in the rain. It was bad enough this morning when it hadn't rained."

Sandra Reynier (France) set the first time that looked fast enough like it would stick at 5:33.488 , but she was immediately bumped from the hot seat by defending world champion Rosser with a 5:28.793.

"My run was alright but I had a lot of crashes because it is really slick," said Rosser, who went down three times early on the course and three times nearer to the bottom.

"It's a good course and it's very challenging. I think the top riders will be able to go no dabs, but it's really starting to rain up top. If you can hold it together, you can get a fast time."

It wasn't until the third last rider, Delest, that Rosser was beaten. The French woman clocked a 5:26.002. The second last woman down the mountain, Lea Fourton had a crash-filled run and failed to make the podium.

Carpenter was the last woman down and by far the smoothest. She finished in 5:11.545, which put her nearly 14.5 seconds ahead of her nearest competition.

With her win, Carpenter capped off a great season as she also won the junior World Cup overall.

"I'm relieved to have finished the year in one piece. It's all gone well - last year didn't go quite so well," she said.

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

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