• Caroline Buchanan celebrates her silver in Belgium (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Australia’s golden girl Caroline Buchanan has won silver on a rain and windswept track at the BMX world championships in Zolder, Belgium.
By
AAP

Source:
AAP
26 Jul 2015 - 7:54 AM 

Buchanan stayed upright in a wild final of the elite women's event but Australia's men were not as lucky.

Olympic silver medal winner and defending world champion, Sam Willoughby, was taken out by Swiss rider David Graf at the head of the field in a men's final where compatriot Anthony Dean also hit the bitumen.

The event was thrown into chaos when the weather forced officials to make last-minute major changes to the format and schedule of competition.

Racing was brought forward several hours with some stages cut out of the pathway to the finals.

Buchanan said she couldn't recall ever before racing in such circumstances.

"This is by far the toughest conditions we've raced in for a world champs," she said.

"It was absolutely nuts.

"When we woke up this morning I was cool, calm and collected. I was actually about to pop up the laptop, put Kardashians on in bed and call my mum, then the next minute we got the call to say racing's been pushed forward about five hours, we're not racing the big hill, rain's coming in, we're going to have one warm-up lap on the small hill. It was crazy.

"Most of the time racing's postponed if it's like this at a world title but they just pushed us through and no one was prepared for it."

Wild weather aside, Buchanan was over the moon to have made it onto the podium.

"Coming into the final (Olympic and world champion) Marian Pajon, she was out, I had really good lane selection," Buchanan said.

"To cross the line in second I'm just really stoked to do that for Australia and myself."

Willoughby cut a dejected figure after his race, battered after a mentally draining day and an accident in the final that should never have happened.

"I'm pretty disappointed obviously," he said.

"It's hard when you crash like that you try and think back to 'what could have I done' and honestly I can't picture anything else I could have done."

In the men's junior elite final Brandon Te Hiko was a hard fought fourth after toiling at the front of the field.

While it didn't deliver the podium finish or world title he coveted, Te Hiko's performance showed enough to suggest he can push for the third spot on Australia's Olympic team for Rio next year.

Australia ended the five-day championships with 17 medals: eight gold, four silver and five bronze.

But it was a tough day at the office today for several other Australians, with a number of riders crashing, including yesterday's junior time trial champion Shane Rosa, who went down whilst comfortably leading his quarter-final round race.