Buhl 4th in women’s 4X on day 3 of Mountain Bike Worlds


Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles) nearly gave the U.S. its first medal of these UCI Mountain Bike World Championships with a fourth-place finish in women’s 4X Friday evening in Champéry. The U.S. team also contested the men’s 4X and U23 men’s cross-country events on the third of five days of competition.
Buhl finished fourth in the women's 4X contest Friday evening.
Buhl finished fourth in the women's 4X contest Friday evening.

Buhl qualified first yesterday and won both of her preliminary heats today; seemingly easily setting her up for the women’s 4X final. A former 4X world champ, Buhl however did not get a strong jump out of the gate in the four-up final, leaving downhill specialist Anneke Beerten (NED) to the world title on what is described as a very technical and downhill-like 4X course.
Nearly making the final, veteran Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colo./Ellsworth-Smile Generation) recorded her best-ever finish at the world championships in sixth while compatriot Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.) was 10th.
In men’s 4X action, Lear Miller (Sedona, Ariz.) qualified in 16th but was eliminated in the early going Friday to land in 33rd place. Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.) qualified 24th and went out in the first round, finishing 34th. Another American, Erik Nelson (Gilbert, Ariz.) was injured in qualifying and was unable to contest the finals. Michal Prokop (CZE) earned yet another title in men’s 4X.
U23 Men’s Cross-Country
First-year espoir Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development) had a solid ride in the U23 men’s cross-country race moving up to 33rd place. Werner posted the best American time, just over 11 minutes behind the winner, Thomas Litscher of Switzerland. Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development) fought well for the U.S. team and finished in 41st while Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) started well but faded to 54th place.
After suffering a broken finger during Wednesday’s team relay Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development) looked poised for a strong ride passing more than 20 riders to move inside the top 20 mid-way through the six-lap race. The U23 national champ however suffered a crash and was forced to abandon the race.
The marquee men’s and women’s elite cross-country contests will highlight Saturday’s competition at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Watch for a full wrap-up and photos via usacycling.org.
Follow the Mountain Bike World Championships live on freecaster.tv and watch TV highlights on Universal Sports.
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, 2011
Champéry, Switzerland
Women’s 4X
1. Anneke Beerten (NED)   
2. Fionn Griffiths (GBR)   
3. Céline Gros (FRA)
4. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles) qualified 1st
6. Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colo./Ellsworth-Smile Generation)  qualified 11th
10. Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt.) qualified 7th
Men’s 4X
1. Michal Prokop (CZE)   
2. Roger Rinderknecht (SUI)   
3. Joost Wichman (NED)
33. Lear Miller (Sedona, Ariz.)
34. Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.)
U23 Men’s Cross-Country
1. Thomas Litscher (SUI) 1:32:30
2. Marek Konwa (POL) +01:42
3. Henk Jaap Moorlag (NED) +02:13
33. Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development) +11:11
41. Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development) +13:1
54. Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) -1 Lap

This Article Published September 2, 2011 For more information contact: