American Willow Koerber captured the bronze medal in the Women’s Cross Country at the 2010 World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada. As was the case all season, the Subaru-Trek team rider rode her Superfly Elite 29er hardtail
to the podium.
Koerber spent the entire day battling it out with Maja Wloszczowska (PLD), Catharine Pendrel (CAN), and Irina Klentieva (RUS). While all four women rode their hardest race of the season, in the end it would be Mont Saint Anne’s slippery, technical course that proved to be the decider.
Going into the final lap, Wloszczowska created a gap and rode strong to put her in a good position for the win. Koerber would give chase looking to be a solid second. While negotiating a slick rock garden, Willow caught a pedal in the fencing and went down. It was enough to allow Pendrel to pass her on the rocky descent and for Klentieva to pass on the following climb. Effectively dropping Willow from the silver to completely off the podium. Willow added, “My crash on the last lap was a heart breaker, but I’m a dramatic girl and I was motivated to get the medal.”
Heading into the finish area with 200 meters to go, Willow regrouped and took a bold inside line on Pendrel to move into third and claim the bronze medal. “I rode my heart out with my eyes on the prize all day. I fought to the end and made the pass of my life to bring home the bronze.”
The bronze in the World Championships capped a successful year for Koerber, who finished second overall in the World Cup Standings. Throughout the 2010 season the petit 5’2” Willow exclusively rode her big-wheeled Superfly Elite 29er hardtail
proving that the 29” wheels are an advantage to all riders regardless of height.
Also of note, Subaru-Trek teammate Heather Irmiger was the second American at the World Championships crossing the line in 6th place. It was her best international race result to date. Heather also rode her 29er Superfly Elite to gain an advantage on the technical Mont Sainte Anne course.