American downhiller Shaums March (Canyon Country, CA) was crowned world champion on Saturday at the 2007 UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships in southeastern France. In addition to his downhill world title, four other U.S. athletes raced to world championship medals at the Pra Loup Resort August 18 -19.
March was named world champion on Saturday after besting a field of 97 riders in the men's 30-34 downhill contest. Posting a time of 3 minutes, 55.28 seconds, the lone American entered in the event improved upon his third-place time posted in Friday's seeding run and outpaced second and third places by just fractions of a second to claim the world title.
American men continued to put their stamp on the downhill portion of the world championships when Lars Tribus (Milford, NJ) descended to a bronze medal in the men's 35-39 time test. Clocking a 4:01.33, the American finished only 5.97 seconds off the pace of new world champion Nigel Page (GBR) who was the only rider in the group to break the four-minute barrier with his time of 3:55.36.
Three American women climbed onto the podium on Saturday as well after successful cross country efforts. Jane Finsterwald (Basalt, Colo.) raced in a combined field of women in the 45-49, 50-54, and 55-59 age groups and completed three laps of the course in 1:28:07 to earn the bronze medal. Julia Violich (San Anselmo, CA) and Alexandria Fabbro earned the silver and bronze medals respectively among women 40-44. Violich made a strong effort as a solo chaser and finished only 1:15 down from new world champion Belinda Tarling (GBR). Fabbro rode in for the bronze medal 7:15 off the winning pace.
Several other Americans made impressive efforts on Saturday. As the only American in the men's 50-54 cross country field of 38 riders, Henry Kramer (Menlo Park, CA) raced four laps of the course in 1:38:23 for an impressive sixth-place finish. Karl Eberhardt (San Diego, CA) put forth a strong performance for the U.S. team in the same age category on a downhill bike. Equaling his seventh-place effort from Friday's seeding run, Eberhardt clocked a 4:55.85 in the final to finish 23.21 seconds off the pace of new world champion Sam Hunziker (SUI).
Lillian Pfluke competed in both disciplines on Saturday, posting a fourth-place finish in the women's 45-49 cross country event with a time of 1:45:19. She then went on to descend to fifth place in the downhill contest.
Competition came to a close on Sunday as two more Americans scored impressive finishes for the U.S. In a combined women's cross country field of racers in the 30-34 and 35-39 category, Mary Lynn Wikar (Vernon, CT) rode to a fifth-place finish. As the lone American competitor, she crossed the finish line a little more than nine minutes off the winning pace of world champion Renate Pichler (ITA). In men's competition, Michael Patrick (Milford, CT) put forth a strong effort in the men's 40-44 cross country event, finishing in ninth place, 8:12 off the pace of winner Ulf Johansson (SWE).
2007 UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships
Pra Loup, France - Aug. 18-19
Men's 30-34 Downhill
1. Shaums March (USA) 3:55.28
2. Glyn O'Brien (IRL) +0.36
3. Alex Balaud (FRA) +0.99
Men's 35-39 Downhill
1. Nigel Page (GBR) 3:55.36
2. Christian Taillefer (FRA) +5.78
3. Lars Tribus (USA) +5.97
66. Greg Austin (USA) +1:20.68
Men's 40-44 Downhill
1. Marcel Waldmann (SUI) 4:05.33
2. Paul French (GBR) +4.33
3. Michael Stammbach (SUI) +5.84
17. Damon Kirchmeier (USA) +21.01
Women's 40-49 Downhill
1. Lynda Davies (GBR) 5:03.92
2. Elli Lehmann +22.41
3. Marilyne Bisson (FRA) +1:17.60
5. Lilian Pfluke (USA) +2:54.99
Men's 50-54 Downhill
1. Sam Hunziker (SUI) 4:32.64
2. John Walker (GBR) +3.60
3. Jean Michel Tyssandier (FRA) +11.25
7. Karl Eberhardt (USA) +23.21
Men's 55-59 Downhill
1. Francesco Cotta (ITA) 4:44.27
2. Mike Chan (CAN) +1.93
3. Gerard Piret (FRA) +23.29
4. Rolf Hebenstreit (USA) +30.77
Women's 30-39 Cross Country
1. Renate Pichler (ITA) 1:16:41
2. Anouk Kesseleer-Haarsma +1:26
3. Eva Carrer-Enz (SUI) +5:08
5. Mary Lynn Wikar (USA) +6:31
Women's 40-44 Cross Country
1. Belinda Tarling (GBR) 1:20:45
2. Julia Violich (USA) +1:15
3. Alexandria Fabbro (USA) +7:15
Men's 40-44 Cross Country
1. Ulf Johansson (SWE) 1:46:29
2. Jean Paul Stephen (FRA) +0:03
3. Danielle Bruschi (ITA) +1:28
9. Michael Patrick (USA) +8:12
Women's 45-59 Cross Country
1. Guertrud Boe (NOR) 1:26.43
2. Emmanuelle Meissner (FRA) +56.46
3. Jane Finsterwald (USA) +1:23.75
8. Lillian Pfluke (USA) +18:35.26
Men's 50-54 Cross Country
1. Georges Luthi (SUI) 1:28:43
2. Roberto Viviani (ITA) +1:16
3. Robert Anderson (CAN) +4:28
6. Henry Kramer (USA) +9:40
For complete results, visit the website.
© BikeRadar & USA Cycling 2007