Whakatane rider Karen Hanlen fought her way to an 18th place at the latest round of the Mountainbike World Cup overnight in Belgium.
Europe's first World Cup this season drew huge fields in all categories with the Elite race resembling world championship quality competition.
London Olympic hopefuls Hanlen and Rosara Joseph from Wellington were swallowed by the 94 strong pack in an aggressive start loop, both finding themselves positioned in the 30s going into the first full lap of four.
Hanlen regained her composure during that first full lap and started picking off riders at a steady rate, with an 18th place finish just reward for her perseverance.
Joseph struggled to follow suit, eventually finishing back in 38th.
After two rounds of the World Cup, Hanlen now holds down a respectable 9th place in the overall standings.