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Title:

UCI BMX World Championships: Rainbow stripes for Phillips and Buchanan

Date:

28.07.2013

Description:

Great Britain’s Liam Phillips and Australia’s Caroline Buchanan took the world titles at the end of an exciting final day of racing at Auckland’s Vector Arena.

To do so, they needed to not only demonstrate their physical prowess, but also an incredible level-headedness to avoid the spills that brought down main contenders.

Some big names out of contention

In the men’s race, some of the big names failed to make the final: Both defending Champion Sam Willoughby (Australia) and double Olympic Champion Maris Strombergs (Latvia) crashed in their respective quarter-finals, leaving Liam Phillips to line up for the final with the fastest qualifying time.

“I knew I just had to get out in front and keep out of trouble,” he explained. The British athlete stormed to a win ahead of New Zealand’s Marc Willers and Germany’s Luis Brethauer.

“This is something I have been working towards specifically since the Olympics,” explained the new World Champion, who has been chasing the title for a good part of his career. “I have competed in pretty much every World Championships since 1996, except 2011, but I have never won. It is something I have dreamt of for a long time.”

He said that the tight indoor track made every move particularly important: “We knew it would be cut-throat and you needed to get a good start. But then you have to use it. I just produced the best I could.”

New Zealand hopeful Marc Willers made an error at the gate which saw him making up for lost ground on the first straight.

“I wanted to come out here today and go mistake free but I made that mistake. I realised in practice that my form was good but it was carnage out there. You just had to get out there and keep out of trouble.”

Buchanan looks towards mountain bike worlds 

World Champion in the time trial in 2012, Caroline Buchanan took the title on Sunday in front of fellow Australian Lauren Reynolds and France’s Manon Valentino. Starting from lane one, she got the holeshot and cut off Olympic Champion Mariana Pajon in the first straight, taking the Colombian out of contention

“I went in as the fastest qualifier but you never know what’s going to happen. When I got to the line and turned around to see my team mate behind me, it was amazing. The atmosphere here is great and I just wanted to concentrate and keep out of trouble.”

Celebration did not appear to be on the mind of the new World Champion: “I will go to the Downhill Worlds in South Africa and then the Four-cross Worlds in Austria. I would like to get two more World Championship podiums this year...”

Local darling and Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker, who was competing with a broken arm, did not get past the morning motos but cruised towards the finish line waving to her fans.

“Rolling around was the most difficult and satisfying thing I've ever had to do,” she posted on Twitter immediately after her last moto, thanking her supporters “for helping put a smile back on my face!”

Juniors: two titles for the United States

Sean Gaian and Felicia Stancil will be taking the two Junior rainbow jerseys back to the United States.

Already Juniors World Champion in 2012 and winner of Saturday’s time trial, Felicia Stancil proved she will be one of the great names of the future. She took the title in front of Shayona Glynn (USA) and Hannah Sarten (NZL).

Sean Gaian won the Junior Men’s title, with silver going to Gonzalo Molina (Argentina) and Jeremy Rencurel (France).

Photo: Caroline Buchanan on her way to victory in the Vector Arena

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