Fort William, Scotland (September 4, 2007)—
The foursome of Georgia Gould
(Ketchum, Idaho/Luna), Ethan Gilmour
(Ludlow, Vt./Devo-Okemo), Sam Schultz
(Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Adam Craig
(Bend, Ore./Giant) joined forces to claim the bronze medal behind the winning team from Switzerland and runner-up Poland.
| |Georgie Gould at Fort William
The Team Relay, which features four laps of the Cross Country circuit contested by an elite male, elite female, U23 male and junior male from each nation, was added to the World Championship program at the 1999 edition in Are, Sweden. There, the United States turned in a fourth-place performance, the highest placing for an American entry until Tuesday.
With teams allowed to determine the start order of its representatives, the U.S. squad chose to open with Gould while the remaining 14 teams opted to kick things off with either its elite or U23 male competitor. The result was a comparatively slow first lap in which Gould clocked an opening lap time of 25 minutes, 19 seconds over the 7.9-kilometer loop – the slowest time of the first wave, but the second-fastest amongst elite women behind Irina Kalentieva (RUS) who posted a 25:13 on the third lap.
Georgia Gould, Sam Schultz, Adam Craig and Ethan Gilmour gave the U.S. its first-ever medal since the Team Relay started in 1999
Gilmour, the U.S. squad’s junior male entry, took the handoff from Gould and moved the U.S. up one position to 14th place at the contest’s midway point. Gilmour ticked off a 24:46, the 12th-fastest mark of his lap.
Following Gilmour, Schultz continued to improve Team USA’s position, moving the team from 14th to eighth place after posting a 22:39, the fastest mark of the third lap and third-fastest compared to his U23 male counterparts.
Needing to make up five spots to secure the first relay medal in U.S. history, Craig anchored the American squad with a 22:01, the quickest mark on the final lap and the ninth-fastest lap time of the day amongst all competitors.
The U.S. contingent completed the event with an overall time of 1:34:45, just 20 seconds off the pace of Poland and 1:09 back from the defending champion Swiss team.
The strategic decision to send Gould off first and sacrifice an early lead paid off for the U.S. Team as the only squad to opt for a slow start and a fast finish.
“I figured we’d be better off if we let Georgia ride by herself because that’s what she’s been doing all year anyway,” Craig explained of the team’s tactics. “She could time trial it and then the younger boys were fine with just picking off a person or two a lap. I figured if I was on the last lap with a bunch of people to catch, I’d be fired up. It’s good for morale to be passing people.”
All four competitors on the U.S. squad will compete in their respective individual events later this week, Gilmour in the junior men's cross country on Thursday, Schultz in the U23 men's cross country on Friday, Gould in the elite women's cross country on Saturday and Craig in the elite men's cross country, also on Saturday.
The 2007 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships continue on Wednesday with two more medal events – the junior and U23 women’s cross country. Representing the United States in the junior women’s division will be Stephanie White (Bedford, N.H./Velo Bella) and Amy Cox (Scottsdale, Ariz./Strada). In the U23 women’s contest, Chloe Forsman (Boulder, Colo./Luna) and Caitlyn Tuel (Boulder, Colo./Trek-VW) will compete for Team USA.
The bronze medal for the United States in the Team Relay at the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships is the 12th medal won by Americans at various UCI World Championship events this year. The foursome of Craig, Gould, Gilmour and Schultz join Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) – gold medalist, elite women’s individual pursuit; Kyle Bennett (Conroe, Texas) – gold medalist, elite men’s BMX; Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) – gold medalist, junior men’s time trial; Jonathan Page (Northfield, Mass.) – silver medalist, elite men’s cyclo-cross; Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) – silver medalist, elite women’s cyclo-cross; Daniel Summerhill (Centennial, Colo.) – silver medalist, junior men’s cyclo-cross; Danny Caluag (Chino, Calif.) – silver medalist, elite men’s cruiser BMX; Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.) – bronze medalist, elite men’s track omnium; Randy Stumpfhauser (Sanger, Calif.), bronze medalist, elite men’s BMX; Jerika Hutchinson (Mt. Shasta, Calif.) – bronze medalist, junior women’s time trial and George Sowers (Glendale, Ariz.) – bronze medalist, junior men’s cruiser BMX.
2007 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Fort William, Scotland
1. Switzerland – Florian Vogel, Thomas Litscher, Petra Henzi, Nino Schurter
2. Poland – Marcin Karczynski, Piotr Brzozka, Maja Wloszczowska, Dariusz Batek
3. United States – Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho), Ethan Gilmour (Ludlow, Vt.), Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont.), Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.)
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 60,000 members and 2,500 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information, visit www.usacycling.org or contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867.
This Article Published 2007-09-04 11:26:21 For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org