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Sydor, Hesjedal silver in world championships

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In the men’s espoir category the title went to Balz Weber of Switzerland, followed by Manuel Fumic of Germany and Ivan Alvarez of Spain.

The top Canadian was Ricky Federau of Abbotsford, who finished 12 th . Kris Sneddon of Sechelt was 27 th , Andrew Watson was 30 th , James Van Toever was 38 th , and Whistler’s own Will Routley was 47 th .

In the junior men’s race, Max Plaxton of Tofino finished fifth, less than eight minutes back of the lead rider.

Plaxton was the fastest junior in the relay contest, and had hoped to finish in the top three. "I didn’t play my cards right," said Plaxton. "I went pretty hard from the start and kind of realized people were going to pass me and let up a bit. I gave it all I had at the end and came pretty close to a bronze."

The race went to Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic, followed by Nino Schurter of Switzerland and Oleksandr Yakymenko of the Ukraine.

The other cross-country races were the relay – in which Canada finished third with the team of Roland Green, Ricky Federau, Chrissy Redden and Max Plaxton – and the junior women’s event, in which Whistler’s Brook Baker finished 24 th overall.

Canada is not as well-established in downhill and 4X, but still succeeded in landing some good results.

In the women’s downhill, France led the way by claiming all three podium positions. Anne-Caroline Chausson, the world champion for three years running, once again dominated with a time of five minutes, 10.23 seconds. Sabrina Jonnier was second in 5:22.64, and Nolvenn Le Caer was third in 5:27.69.

Vancouver’s Danika Schroeter was the top Canadian in 14 th place with a time of 6:04.27.

Michelle Dumaresq, the Canadian champion, was 17 th in 6:11:78, followed by Debra MacKillop in 18 th . Both hail from Vancouver.

Whistler’s Claire Buchar, who was recovering from a broken hand, finished 23 rd overall with a time of 6:23.90.

Caroline Milot of Quebec was 29 th .

In the men’s downhill, Greg Minnaar of Russia took the top spot in 4:27.78. A pair of French riders, Mickael Pascal and Fabien Barel finished second and third with times of 4:38.70 and 4:39.11 respectively, giving France five out of six downhill podium spots.

Cedric Gracia of France, the top World Cup rider and a reigning world champion for several years running was eighth.