By Liam Moakes Thursday 27 September 2012 Updated: 27/09 12:07
REDDITCH mountain bike ace Beth Crumpton secured a superb fifth placed finish in the Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria earlier this month.
The result comes on the back of a 27th placed finish in the Mountain Bike World Cup in France, which helped set Crumpton up for her fine effort in Austria.
At the beginning of July Crumpton put out an appeal to local firms to help back her to get to the Mountain Bike World Cup in France as this would subsequently give her the chance to qualify for the Austrian adventure, which was her last chance to ride as a junior.
Having enjoyed consistent top 15 results, it was her best chance of having a good result at the World Championships, and as a result of the appeal Redditch firm Heller Machine Tools Ltd kindly came forward to help her on her way by covering her travel and accommodation costs for the French trip due to British Cycling personnel all concentrating on the Olympics.
After an eventful trip in which Crumpton had to cope with the altitude (1,900m above sea level) and punctures during the race, she finished 27th.
She then trained hard over the next month and achieved selection to represent Great Britain in Austria.
Prior to the worlds she got the opportunity to spend two weeks training in France and rode against the world's best at the Swiss Mountain Bike Cup, in which she finished 11th overall.
Travelling on to Austria, she was to have a career-best performance. With 48 riders signed on for the start of the race, Crumpton was gridded halfway down the field in 21st spot, but this did not hold her back in her pursuit of a world title and, by the time they had completed the opening start loop and they came through the finish line for the first time, Crumpton was at the head of affairs in first place.
Starting the first climb and cross country section, she settled into sixth position along with riders from Russia, Ukraine and France, but as the race went on she managed to break away from them to ride in fifth position, closing in rapidly on fourth, but the finish came too soon to improve her position further.
Comparing this result with that of GB Olympic rider Annie Last, who finished eighth in her last year as a junior, proves the future looks bright for Crumpton.
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