Feniak wins junior women's race at mountain bike worlds

The Canadian Press

9/2/2012 12:31:39 PM

LEOGANG, Austria -- Holly Feniak of Sunshine Coast, B.C., won the junior women's event and Steve Smith of Cassidy, B.C., took third in the elite men's race Sunday in downhill action at the mountain bike world championships.

Feniak was fastest at both intermediate time splits of her final run and beat silver medallist Tahnee Seagrave of Great Britain by 8.095 seconds.

Danielle Beecroft of Australia finished third.

"I was actually worried that I hadn't finished on the podium because I made a few mistakes on my run," Feniak said. "So when the time came up on the board that I had won by eight seconds, my first feeling was relief. I haven't been racing the World Cup races like some of the other girls, so I didn't know how I would do. It still wasn't quite sunk in yet."

Smith came into the elite race as one of the favourites after multiple podium appearances on the World Cup stage this season. He finished 1.214 seconds behind winner Greg Minnaar of South Africa.

British rider Gee Atherton was second.

"I was really worried that I would end up fourth," Smith said. "You always come to the championships to win, but I'm pleased to make the podium.

"After the rain of the last couple of days the course was drying up today, but there were still slippery sections and I made a mistake at the top of the course that cost me some time. But, overall, it was a good run, and I had a good championships."

Micayla Gatto of Garibaldi Heights, B.C., finished sixth in the elite women's race.