Australians Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan claimed a golden doublein the four cross (4X) events at the UCI world mountain bikechampionships on Friday.
Australians Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan claimed a golden double in the four cross (4X) events at the UCI world mountain bike championships on Friday.
Graves and Buchanan won Australia's first medals of the championships after both went through the night session undefeated before holding firm in the medal round to claim gold at Stromlo Forest Park.
The victory for Graves, who last year was a finalist in the BMX at the Beijing Olympic Games, confirmed his status as the world's best 4X rider after he entered the championships as the World Cup Series leader and world number one.
Despite his favouritism, Graves said he had entered the competition with a relaxed attitude.
"I felt a bit calmer today than I normallywould at a world titles final, I was saying to differentpeople earlier in the week that I have lost this race enough to knowthat life goes on if you don't win it."
"That’s the biggestgoal I’ve had in mountain biking so to pull it off just after the badrun of luck I have had in the last three years in a row now is justawesome. I knew I had a really good last practice session I knew if Ikept it all night I knew I would get it."
Frenchman Romain Saladini, the only rider who looked to have any hope of beating Graves, won silver with teenage world championship debutant, Jakub Riha from the Czech Republic, third.
In the women's event, Buchanan, 18, won all three of her rounds including a thrilling final to claim the gold medal from Thursday's top qualifier and world ranked number three Jill Kintner of the USA. American Melissa Buhl won the bronze medal.
“Out of 13 years of racing I’ve never won a world title, I’ve always been so close but today I just really wanted it,” Buchanan said.
“I pushed so hard and I feel so sick at the moment (but) I’m stoked, I’m over the moon and I can’t believe it.”
Dutchwoman Anneke Beerten, the world ranked number one, missed the final but won the consolation final.
1. Jared Graves (AUS), 2. Romain Saladini (FRA), 3. Jakub Riha (CZE), 4. Rafael Alvarez Lucas (ESP)
1. Australia 78 points, 2. Czech Republic 67, 3. France 48, 4.Germany 40, 5. Britain 39, 6. United States 36, 7. Switzerland 34, 8.Netherlands 33, 9. Spain 29, 10. New Zealand 20.
1. Caroline Buchanan (AUS), 2. Jill Kintner (USA), 3. Melissa Buhl (USA), 4. Anita Molcik (AUT)
1. United States 21 points, 2. Australia 18, 3. Austria 9, 4.Netherlands 8, 5. Japan 7, 6. Hungary 5, 7. Czech Republic 4, 8. SouthAfrica 3, 9. Britain 2, 10. Ecuador 1.