By Rob Jones, Cyclingews.com
Saturday, May 15, 2010 4.00pm
Beerten, Buchanan crash in final
By Rob Jones, Cyclingnews.com
Czech rider Jana Horakova managed to hold onto her World Cup series lead after the second round of the four cross World Cup, despite not making the final round of racing in Maribor on Saturday. Extremely muddy conditions led to an upset the women's race, with Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team) taking the win.
The incredibly sloppy conditions meant that riders were sliding and crashing in every round. A strong start at least kept a rider out of the battle behind, but was no guarantee that an error wouldn't take her out anyway. In the 16-rider women's field, defending World Cup champion Anneke Beerten (Suspension Centre) and World Champion Caroline Buchanan (Commencal) each won their respective opening heats and then went one-two in the semi-final to make the final four.
Griffiths finished second in each of her first two rides, but it was enough to move on to the final, along with Australian Sarsha Huntington.
World Cup leader Jana Horakova ended up sixth in the final standings.
In the final, Griffiths and Buchanan bumped into each other, with the World Champion Buchanan going down, and Beerten crashing into her. This gave Griffiths a clear run to the finish line.
"It could have gone either way," said Griffiths, "so I'm very happy to get this result. My gates are not great, as everyone knows, so I hung back a bit to see how things would work out. She [Buchanan] bobbled on a corner and bumped into me. I pushed back a bit, she went the other way and went down. Then I just pedalled as hard as I could."
Horakova continues to hold onto the World Cup lead, followed by Huntington, with Beerten in third.
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.