Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah) and Team USA Finish 9th in Team Relay at MTB Worlds


Mountain Bike Worlds open with team relay and junior women’s cross country race

Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec (September 1, 2010) – The 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships kicked off on Wednesday with the U.S. placing ninth in the team relay and junior rider Essence Barton (Thousand Oak, Calif.) riding to 13th place in the junior women’s cross country event.

The morning opened with the team relay in which each of the 17 participating nations entered an elite male, U23 male, junior male, and elite female who each contested one lap of the 4.6 kilometer cross country loop before tagging the next rider on their team. The U.S. foursome consisted of Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized), Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah/Garmin-Felt-Holowesko), Seth Kemp (Campobella, S.C.), and Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Planet Bike).

USA Cycling’s squad decided to start off with its fastest, most experienced rider – Todd Wells. Completing his lap in 16 minutes and four seconds, the 2008 Olympian put the U.S. into eighth place when he handed off to U23 racer Rob Squire.

“The course was pretty dusty today. It’s the first time Mont Sainte Anne doesn’t have any water or mud,” Wells said after the competition. “I didn’t have the best start but worked my way up and had a decent race. I hoped to give the U.S. the pass with a little better placing but did my best and I think the team had a decent race.”

CLICK HERE to see a YouTube video of Todd talking after the race.

The second fastest rider for the American contingent, Squire completed his duties with a time of 16:58 before passing the race off to junior rider Seth Kemp who finished his lap in 17:57.

“It was really one of the hardest courses I’ve done,” Kemp said after his turn on the course. “There were a lot of short steep climbs that were really hard and then the rocky down hills. You didn’t really have any time to recover.”

The red, white and blue ended their team relay with elite woman Katie Compton who posted a 19:43 after suffering a crash on one of the rocky sections. In the end, the U.S. final time was 1:10:42 compared to the 1:06:00 posted by the gold medal winning Swiss team. The silver and bronze medals went to the German and Czech squads.

Following the team relay, the world’s best junior women toed the start line in the mid-day heat to battle it out over 16.8 kilometers. The ladies raced one start loop and then three laps of the course, and the field was spread out quite a bit by the first time through the start/finish.

Essence Barton grabbed 13th place – the top finish for the red, white and blue – after working her way up from a less-than-desirable start position.

“I was so far back in the standings that I took off 22nd back in the line-up,” she explained afterwards. “Slowly but surely, all the efforts I put in when I was younger…. all the climbing my dad made me do really paid off. I slowly started picking through people and moving forward. It burned the whole way.”

CLICK HERE for a YouTube video of Essence talking about her race.

Barton’s compatriots, Alicia Rose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate) and Sofia Hamilton (San Anselmo, Calif./Whole Athlete) were 19th and 26th respectively in the contest.

The Mountain Bike World Championships continue on Thursday with the U23 Women’s Cross Country event and the Four-Cross qualifying rounds. Stay tuned to for full reports of all American action.

CLICK HERE for complete results on the UCI’s website.

CLICK HERE for USA Cycling’s photo gallery of the world championships.

2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

Sept. 1-5, 2010

Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec

Team Relay

1. Switzerland 1:06:00

2. Germany 1:06:18

3. Czech Republic 1:06:41

4. United States 1:10:42

Junior Women’s Cross Country

1. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA)

2. Yana Belomoyna (UKR)

3. Helen Grobert (GER)

13. Essence Barton (Thousand Oak, Calif.)

19. Alicia Rose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate)

26. Sofia Hamilton (San Anselmo, Calif./Whole Athlete)

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