Taupō's Sammie Maxwell produced a solid performance to kick start the New Zealand team's Mountain Bike World Championship campaign in Canada.
Maxwell, who is part of Cycling New Zealand's Subway National Performance Hub, finished 14th in the junior female cross-country at Mont Sainte Anne, near Quebec City, with teammate Ruby Ryan, of Rotorua, 33rd.
New Zealand have a 25-strong team contesting the world championships, which are being held at one of the sport's oldest mountain bike venues.
Maxwell, who competed in last year's Youth Olympics, was pushed back amid the packed start for the initial loop and first lap proper. She was 21st mid-race but finished strongly to move up to 14th.
The 17-year-old produced the third fastest time for the final lap, behind only the first and second place-getters, to finish 7m 42s down on winner Jacqueline Schneebeln, of Switzerland.
Teammate Ryan finished one lap down on the field in 33rd.
Palmerston North's Caleb Bottcher, 46th, was the best of the New Zealand junior male riders.
Cycling New Zealand coach Sam Thompson said it was a solid performance from Maxwell.
"It wasn't her best race of the year but she still did well, especially after she had trouble early with riders in her way on the tight sections. She was great in the last two laps."
There are no New Zealanders in tomorrow's under-23 races, although the downhill riders will have official qualification runs. The elite cross-country races are on Sunday (NZT) with downhill finals on Monday.
Junior women: Jacqueline Schneebeln (SUI) 1:05:03, 1; Mona Mitterwallner (AUT) at 1:05, 2; Helene Fosse Sholm (NOR) at 3:11, 3. Also: Sammie Maxwell (NZL) at 7:42, 14; Ruby Ryan at 1lap, 33.
Junior men: Charlie Aldridge (GBR) 1:07:31, 1; Luca Martin (FRA) at 11s, 2; Andreas Vittone (ITA) at 37s, 3. Also NZers: Caleb Bottcher 1 lap, 46; Matthew Wilson 2 laps, 60; Connor Johnston DNF.
Elite e-Bike: Alan Hatherly, (ZAF) 1:04:53, 1; Jerome Giulloux (FRA) at 1:10, 2; Julien Absalon (FRA) at 1:29, 3. Also NZers: Wyn Masters at 9:54, 27, Glenn Anderson 1 lap, 42. Female: Nathalie Schneitter (SUI) 1:10.38, 1; Maghalie Rochette (CAN) at 5s, 2; Anneke Beerten (NED) at 3:31, 3. Also NZers: Kate Anderson at 2 laps, 8.
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