Courtney tops Americans’ effort on second day of MTB World Championships

  
  


Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (August 29, 2013) — The 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships continued Thursday in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, with the juniors cross-country races and the seeding runs of the juniors downhill on a hot and dry day.

Cross-Country
 

Kate Courtney finished sixth in the juniors women's cross-country race
Kate Courtney finished sixth in the juniors women's cross-country race. (Photo by Rob Jones)

Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) paced the American's effort in the juniors women's cross-country race, placing sixth. Alessandra Keller (SUI) topped the 39-rider field, completing her four laps in 1:18.24. Courtney, who won the juniors women's world cup race in Mont-Sainte-Anne on Aug. 10, stopped the clock 3:41 behind Keller while Kaylee Blevins (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) was 7:58 behind the winner. Emilie Collomb (ITA) earned the silver medal while Sarah Bauer (GER) took home the bronze medal.

Courtney was unable to improve on her starting position. She started the race in sixth place, slipped briefly into seventh place after the second lap before regaining sixth place for the final two laps of the four-lap, 18.8-kilometer contest. Blevins managed to improve two positions through the course of the race. After finishing her first lap in 18th place, Blevins improved to 17th after the second lap. She stayed in 17th place following her third circuit before passing Serena Tasca (ITA) on the final lap to finish in 16th place.

Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) used a tremendous effort to move up through the pack to top the Americans' effort in the juniors men's race by placing 28th, 8:46 behind the winner Lukas Baum (GER). Baum finished the five-lap, 23.5-kilometer contest in 1:20:06. Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Folsom Bike-VW-Raley's), who contributed to America placing seventh in the cross-country team relay on Wednesday, finished 49 seconds behind Bennett in 32nd place. Luke Vrouwenvelder (Chapel Hill, N.C./Cycle Youth) was the third American to finish the race, placing 37th, 10:39 behind Baum. Peter Disera (CAN) took the silver medal, finishing 42 seconds behind Baum, but 20 seconds ahead of Gioele Bertolini (ITA), who rode away with the bronze medal.

Bennett completed his first lap in 49th place, but used the subsequent laps to gradually improve his position. Bennett moved into 44th place after the second circuit, 37th place after three laps before completing the five-lap contest in 28th place. Powless finished his first turn in 38th place and moved as high as 13th with one lap remaining, but slipped back into 32nd place in the end. Vrouwenvelder sat in 24th place after one lap before slipping into 37th place at the race's conclusion.

Downhill
The United States placed four riders in the top 20 in the juniors men's downhill seeding runs on Thursday. Richard Rude Jr. (Redding, Conn./Yeti-Fox Factory Racing) registered the second-best time, completing his run in 4:14.627, only .754 seconds behind Loris Vergier (FRA). Rude will be the second-to-last rider to contest the championship run on Friday.

Cole Picchiottino (Murrieta, Calif./Trek-Southridge Racing) posted the 13th-best time, completing the 3.021-kilometer course in 4:24.964, 11.091 seconds behind Vergier. Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./Specialized Gravity DH) placed 15th, stopping the clock at 4:26.865. Luca Cometti (San Diego, Calif./Nema Nukeproof) and Jay Fesperman (Davidson, N.C./Yeti Fox National Team) placed 17th and 18th, respectively. Cometti finished 13.938 behind Vergier while Fesperman was 14.022 behind the top time. Walker Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./Specialized Gravity USA) rounded out the Americans' qualification effort, placing 40th, 26.920 seconds behind Vergier.

The 3.021-kilometer course featured technical sections such as a downward stair step-like rock garden, cork screw and many berms and jumps as well as pedal and power sections.

The racing in Pietermaritzburg continues until Sept. 1. Friday’s competition includes the juniors men’s and women’s downhill competitions as well as the under-23 men’s and women’s races.

For more information, including the complete schedule, please visit the event website.

2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Aug. 26-Sept. 1

FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

Cross-Country

Juniors Women
1. Alessandra Keller (SUI) 1:18:24
2. Emilie Collomb (ITA) +00:46
3. Sarah Bauer (GER) +01:01
6. Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) +03:41
16. Kaylee Blevins (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) +07:58

Juniors Men
1. Lukas Baum (GER) 1:20:06
2. Peter Disera (CAN) +00:42
3. Gioele Bertolini (ITA) +01:02
28. Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) +08:46
32. Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Folsom Bike-VW-Raley's) +09:35
37. Luke Vrouwenvelder (Chapel Hill, N.C./Cycle Youth) +10:39

Juniors Men’s Downhill-Qualifying
1. Loris Vergier (FRA) 4:13.873
2. Richard Rude Jr. (Redding, Conn./Yeti-Fox Factory Racing) +0.754
3. Michael Jones (GBR) +4.145
13. Cole Picchiottino (Murrieta, Calif./Trek-Southridge Racing) +11.091
15. Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./Specialized Gravity DH) +12.992
17. Luca Cometti (San Diego, Calif./Nema Nukeproof) +13.938
18. Jay Fesperman (Davidson, N.C./Yeti Fox National Team) +14.022
40. Walker Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./Specialized Gravity USA) +26.920



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