Maxwell makes solid start at mountain bike worlds in Canada
Taupo’s Sammie Maxwell produced a solid performance to lead Cycling New Zealand’s Altherm elite team at the Mountain Bike World Championships that began in Canada today.
Sammie Maxwell in action in the junior female cross-country at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships at Mont Sainte Anne, Canada. (Credit: Robert Jones).
Maxwell, who is part of Cycling New Zealand’s Subway National Performance Hub, finished 14th in the junior female cross-country race at Mont Sainte Anne near Quebec City, with teammate Ruby Ryan in 33rd.
New Zealand has a 25-strong team contesting the world championships at one of the sport’s oldest mountain bike venues.
The 17-year-old Maxwell, who competed in last year’s Youth Olympics, was pushed back amid the packed start for the initial start loop and first lap proper. She was in 21st place mid-race but finished strongly over the final two laps to move up to 14th. She produced the third fastest time for the final lap, only behind the first and second placegetters, to climb to 14th to be 7:42 down on winner Jacqueline Schneebeln (SUI).
Teammate Ryan from Rotorua finished one lap down on the field in 33rd.
Palmerston North’s Caleb Bottcher was the best of the New Zealand junior male riders in 46th place.
“It was a solid race and a solid performance for Sammie,” said Cycling New Zealand coach, Sam Thompson. “It wasn’t her best race of the year but she still did well, especially after she had trouble early with riders in her way on the tight sections. She was great in the last two laps.”
The championships began with the first-ever e-bike race, which drew a number of high-profile riders and was won by South African Alan Hatherly with five-time world and two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon (FRA) in third.
There are no New Zealanders in tomorrow’s under-23 races, although the downhill riders will have official qualification runs. The elite cross-country races are on Sunday (NZ time) with downhill finals on Monday.
Junior women: Jacqueline Schneebeln (SUI) 1:05:03, 1; Mona Mitterwallner (AUT) at 1:05, 2; Helene Fosse Sholm (NOR) at 3:11, 3. Also: Samara Maxwell (NZL) at 7:42, 14; Ruby Ryan at 1lap, 33.
Junior men: Charlie Aldridge (GBR) 1:07:31, 1; Luca Martin (FRA) at 11s, 2; Andreas Vittone (ITA) at 37s, 3. Also NZers: Caleb Bottcher 1 lap, 46; Matthew Wilson 2 laps, 60; Connor Johnston dnf.
Elite E-Bike: Alan Hatherly, (ZAF) 1:04:53, 1; Jerome Giulloux (FRA) at 1:10, 2; Julien Absalon (FRA) at 1:29, 3. Also NZers: Wyn Masters at 9:54, 27, Glenn Anderson 1 lap, 42. Female: Nathalie Schneitter (SUI) 1:10.38, 1; Maghalie Rochette (CAN) at 5s, 2; Anneke Beerten (NED) at 3:31, 3. Also NZers: Kate Anderson at 2 laps, 8.