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UW’s Behlen Top American Finisher at World Mountain Bike Championships

September 8, 2011 — University of Wyoming cyclist Jill Behlen was the top American finisher in the U23 women's race last week at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland.

Behlen, a molecular biology junior from Boulder, Colo., who competes for the UW Cycling Club in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC), placed 31st in a race won by France's Julie Bresset.

The 20-year-old Behlen qualified for her third trip to the world championships by pedaling to a 44-second victory at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships in July at Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum, Idaho.

The win was especially satisfying for Behlen, who had twice finished second at nationals while competing in the junior 15-18 class. She placed fourth in the women's U23 race in 2010.

UCI is the world governing body for men's and women's sports cycling, overseeing international competitive cycling events in six disciplines, including mountain biking.

The RMCCC season opens this weekend with a UW-hosted race at Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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