Pruitt earns bronze, brings U.S. medal tally to four at MTB Worlds

Canberra, Australia (September 6, 2009) Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif./Jamis) gave the United States its fourth and final medal at the 2009 Mountain Bike World Championships on Sunday. The U.S. women earned silver and bronze medals in 4X, a bronze in elite cross country and finally a bronze in the elite women’s downhill to bring the American medal count to four. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS) also landed inside the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in women’s downhill. Twelve men contested the junior and elite men’s downhill with the top finish coming from Cody Warren (El Cajon, Calif./Decline) who placed 13th in the elite men’s category.
 
The ninth of 26 riders to start in the elite women’s downhill contest, Pruitt knocked nearly 10 seconds off the next best time to move into the top spot. The former junior world champion held that lead the majority of the event, until Emmeline Ragot (FRA) came down third from last and bested Pruitt’s time by nearly five seconds. Great Britain’s Tracy Moseley then knocked Pruitt into third, but the final rider, world cup leader Sabrina Jonnier (FRA), crashed on her run leaving Pruitt to make her first elite world championship podium appearance. Buhl posted a time just over 11 seconds slower than Ragot’s winning mark of 2:50.05 to finish in ninth place. Despite starting only two riders, the American women downhillers grabbed fourth in the team category.
 
Sunday’s performance gave Pruitt her first World Championship podium since she won the junior women’s downhill world title in Sierra Nevada, Spain in 2000. She also grabbed the silver in junior downhill in Are, Sweden in 1999.
 
Five of the United States seven elite men’s downhill competitors posted times in the top half of the nearly 50-rider field to help the U.S. to a third-place finish in the team category. Warren, Kyle Strait (Riverside, Calif.) and
Brian Lopes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Oakley)finished 13th, 15th and 18th behind world champ Steve Peat of Great Britain on the short, technical and dry course.
 
Geoffrey Ulmer (Troy, N.Y.) and Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah) finished 15th and 16th to lead the American effort in the junior men’s downhill.
 
Mike Shiavone (Baltimore, Md.) and Ryan Cecil (Asheville, N.C) also completed the 26” and 20” trials competition for the U.S.  
 
The 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships concluded on Sunday as the 43-member U.S. team walked away with four medals after contesting 14 total events.
 
Click here for complete results from the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
 
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Canberra, AUS
Sept. 1-6, 2009
 
Elite Women’s Downhill
1. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) 2:50.05
2. Tracy Moseley (GBR) +2.49
3. Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif.) +4.84
9. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.) +11.64
 
Elite Men’s Downhill
1. Steve Peat (GBR) 2:30.33
2. Greg Minnaar (RSA) +0.05
3. Michael Hannah (AUS) +0.69
13. Cody Warren (El Cajon, Calif.) +5.62
15. Kyle Strait (Riverside, Calif.) +5.98
18. Brian Lopes (Laguna Beach, Calif.) +7.25
21. Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif.) +7.58
22. Duncan Riffle (Santa Barbara, Calif.) +8.13
32. Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo.) +9.69
39. Luke Strobel (Renton, Wash.) +11.49
 
Junior Men’s Downhill
1. Brook MacDonald (NZL)
2. Shawn O’Conner (AUS)
3. Danny Hart (GBR)
15. Geoffrey Ulmer (Troy, N.Y.)
16. Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah)
23. Shawn Neer (Arvada, Colo.)
30. Luciano Worl (Woodinville, Wash.)
DNF Kevin Aiello (Rancho Margarita, Calif.)
 
Elite Men’s 26” Trials
1. Gilles Coustellier (FRA) 14
2. Kenny Belaey (BEL) 14
3. Vincent Hermance (FRA) 18
30. Mike Shiavone (Baltimore, Md.) 80
 
Elite Men’s 20” Trials
1. Benito Ros Charral (ESP) 19.5
2. Rafal Kumorowski (POL) 33
3. Loris Bruan (SUI) 42
16. Ryan Cecil (Asheville, N.C.) 72
 
 
Photo caption:. Kathy Pruitt rides to her first elite world championship podium on Sunday in Canberra.
Photos courtesy of Rob Jones/
www.canadiancyclist.com
 
 
About USA Cycling   
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ licensees including 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 1,800 clubs and teams, 350 professional cyclists, 200 certified mechanics, and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists through various initiatives and programs. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts national championship events for all categories of amateur and professional cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
 


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