INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwi Mountain Biker Wins Bronze At World Champs

Published: Mon 12 Jun 2000 10:31 AM
Posted by Kashi on 11 June 2000
Yesterday I finished 3rd in the Espoir class (Under 23) of the World Champs. It was truly one of the most incredible feelings! The feeling of national pride as the New Zealand flag was raised at the prize giving was quite moving! The race began well for me, as I held the lead for the first half lap.
Jose A Hermida (Spain), probably the pre-race favorite then bridged the gap on the steepest climb. He then pushed the pace, while I was happy to ride on his wheel for the majority of the next 2 laps. With one and a half laps remaining Jose attacked me, and I could not stay with him anymore, so set into a rhythm of my own. With half a lap remaining I was 1min behind Jose and 2min ahead of third.
Then on the final time down the longest rough decent I had a rear puncture. I did not want to accept the reality of the situation, but I made a good change, and was back on the bike just after 3rd place rider Marti Gispert Labarta (Spain) past me.
I tried to catch him, but my rhythm had been ruined with the stop, and he was riding strong. The rainbow jersey went to Jose in a time of 2.08.34hr. Marti finished second 3.42min behind. and I was a further 33sec back, still happy to be on the podium! There are only three other riders here representing New Zealand. Sadie Parker, Female XC; Nathan Ranking, Men's DH; Vanessa Quinn, Female DH.
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