Junior Women downhillers, Helen Gaskell and Fionn Griffiths, followed up their seeding run success of Thursday with superb rides in the real thing in this morning’s World Championship Junior Women’s Downhill. Gaskell went one better than her bronze last year with a silver and Griffiths slotted in behind her in the bronze medal position.
Gaskell, seventeen, from Burnley in Lancashire and Griffiths, also seventeen and from Shropshire, both enjoyed untroubled runs down the imposing four and a half minute course. Winner of the race was American Kathy Pruitt, seeded number one. Pruitt finished just over a second ahead of Gaskell.
Fionn has been augmenting her Downhill training with regular sessions Track sprinting at the Manchester Velodrome. Working with World Class Potential coach Marshall Thomas, she has been turning in some impressive times on the wooden boards – a million miles from the challenge of plunging down a Spanish mountain-side!
The Championships, taking place at over 6000 feet in the Sierra Nevada mountains, southern Spain, awoke this morning to a covering of snow but, by the time the first race of the day, the Junior Women, was underway, the sun was already burning it off. Fast times look to be the order of the day as the world’s best Downhillers challenge for the sport’s ultimate prizes.
More details will be posted as they come in – still to come today, the Junior Men, Elite Women and Elite Men.
Philip Ingham, British Cycling Federation