Oakley Athletes Dominate at UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra
The 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships took place this past week at Mount Stromlo, on the outskirts of Australia’s capital of Canberra.
The Oakley Factory Pilot team gathered from all over the globe to compete at the highest level in the hope to test their skills to become “World Champion”. After 5 days of racing we are proud to report Oakley has 4 new World Champions and a total of 10 World championship medals earned by Oakley athletes who rely on our product as Vital Equipment.
Here is a rundown of how the week played out…
In Cross-country men’s elite Oakley swept the podium with Nino Schurter taking the win, Julein Absalon placing second and Florian Vogel taking third. On the women’s side Oakley’s Willow Koerber finished third.
Oakley’s Schurter, 23, prevailed by just three seconds over the Frenchman in the most exciting cross-country event of the week. Schurter claimed gold last year in the under-23 event, but said he didn’t think he could beat Absalon.
“I’ve had such a bad season but now with this race it’s a dream come true,” Schurter said. “It’s an amazing feeling, the perfect race, perfect course for me. It was very technical and that suits me. The whole race I was thinking just to try to stay on his back wheel and race for silver, never thinking I could take the win but at the last feed zone I attacked and got away.”
The men raced 45km inside the Stromlo Forest Park in Australia.
Fellow Swiss Florian Vogel captured the bronze in a photo finish from Spain’s Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos, 58 seconds behind Schurter.
Absalon, who has won four World Cup events this year, said he was outnumbered. He led most of the race against the Swiss pair, trying to put them on the defensive. But even though he expected Schurter to try and break away, he couldn’t respond.
“I was not in a good position,” Absalon said. “I led and I did most of the race in front. This track is fast and it was not possible to get away with the wind, it was hard and the Swiss riders proved that they are the strongest nation together. I was expecting the attack in the feed zone (from Schurter) but not as strong.”
In the four cross events, Oakley’s Australians Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan claimed a golden double. Oakley’s Jill Kintner took second.
Graves and Buchanan won Australia’s first medals of the championships after each 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 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.
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 Kintner.
In downhill Oakley’s Greg Minnaar of South Africa took second.