Aussies blitz solo 24-hour worlds

Williamson leads men's podium sweep; USA's Rusch defends women's title

In a staggering show of domination, Australian riders grabbed the top four places at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships mountain bike race in Canmore, Canada over the weekend.

 James Williamson (Giant/Ritchey) took the overall title in fine style, clocking up 16 laps in less than 23 hours and taking an early finish when it became clear that second-placed Jason English (BMC/Ritchey) couldn’t catch him.

Williamson took the early lead ahead of evergreen enduro star Tinker Juarez but at about the eight-hour mark, Juarez pulled away from Williamson, only to later drop out with vision problems caused by mud from the wet Canmore course.

“It was bloody hard early and I didn’t think I could hold it,” Williamson said at the finish.

“Tinker had some problem and from that point I was in the lead … that was the turning point.”

But it was a surprise win for Williamson who thought it was all over when Juarez got away from him.

“About eight hours in I was riding with Tinker and Tinker rode away from me and I thought that was it,” he said. “My legs felt shit, my heart rate wasn’t going very high and I thought, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make this race’.”

But with Juarez out of the race and his form regained, Williamson took the lead the lead and stayed there till the end.

Rusch to victory in women’s race

The women’s event was won by reigning world champion Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) with Australia’s Katrin Van Der Spiegel second.

Like Williamson, Rusch remarked on the toughness of the hilly Canmore course. “That was the hardest course I have ever done,” she said after the finish. “Add in the rain and the cold and it’s ten times harder.”

Results

Elite men     1 James Williamson (Aus) Giant/Ritchey              16 laps    22.49.09   2 Jason English (Aus) BMC/Ritchey                   16 laps    23.53.56   3 Mark Fenner (Aus) Specialized/Total Rush          16 laps    24.00.49   4 Jeff Toohey (Aus) Voodoo/Sunshine Bicycle Works   16 laps    24.27.25   5 Cory Wallace (Can) Kona                           16 laps    24.31.10     Elite women     1 Rebecca Rusch (USA) SPecialized                   14 laps    23.26.21  2 Katrin Van Der Spiegel (Aus) Trek/CLarence St     13 laps    22.59.23  3 Jennifer Gersbach (USA)                           12 laps    22.55.01  4 Carena Dean (Can)                                 12 laps    24.07.08  5 Karen Armstrong (USA)                             10 laps    22.50.43  
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