- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 16 January 2010
In the rainbow jersey of world champion, Caroline Buchanan (ACT) claimed her fifth 4X Australian title at the SRAM Australian MTB Championships at Eagle MTB Park in Adelaide today and Luke Madil took out the men’s event.
It was the first outing for the 19-year-old Buchanan in the rainbow jersey of world champion. Starting as the outright favourite she coped well with the pressure putting in an almost floorless ride.
The women’s race was only ever a race in two as Sarsha Huntington challenged Buchanan through the first two berms as they rubbed shoulders fighting for the lead but the multiple Australian champion eventually got the better of the battle. Emily Hockey claimed the bronze medal in front of her home crowd.
“I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen in that first corner. It got pretty close in the first turn and I was ready for some carnage,” Buchanan said.
“I knew that Sarsha would be close and it’s great that she pushes me all the time.
“Being my first mountain bike race since world’s I was feeling a little bit rough in areas but I wear the rainbow jersey with pride and I had an absolute ball with it out there today.
“I was just as nervous for this race as I was for the world titles.
“This (Australian) title feels just as good as the first one.”
In addition to being the first outing for Buchanan’s rainbow jersey, it was the debut for the new 4X course at Eagle MTB Park that the current 4X world champion rated as world class.
“With 4X it’s important to get the lines equal so there’s not one fast line from top to bottom and they’ve done that here,” the 19-year-old said.
“It’s on a really good slope. They’ve made it really technical and it will make for really even racing.”
In the men’s race Luke Madill took his third Australian title after going through the quarter final and semi-final comfortably but got pushed to the line in the race for gold by Randal Huntington who made it a husband and wife combination in the silver medal position. The bronze medal went to Graeme Mudd.
“Having that strong first straight helped me a lot and got me out of trouble in the final,” Madill said of the way the race unfolded.
“But it’s still hard and you never know who’s behind you because with this track there’s lots of different lines so anything can happen.
“Once you get to the final experience really counts. But having the younger ones push us is good.”
Saturday 16 January at the SRAM Australian MTB Championship will see the race for the green and gold jersey in the elite men’s and women’s cross country where Rowena Fry will aim to defend her crown and Beijing Olympian Daniel McConnell will be aiming for his first title.
Elite men – 4X
1. Luke Madill (NSW)
2. Randal Huntington (QLD)
3. Graeme Mudd (NSW)
4. David Habicht (VIC)
Elite women – 4X
1. Caroline Buchanan (ACT)
2. Sarsha Huntington (QLD)
3. Emily Hockey (SA)
4. Charise Atkinson – DNF