Posted by Editor on 07/2/11
The two World Cup leaders in the 4-Cross not only each won their third event of the season at Mont Ste Anne, Quebec, in the fourth round of racing each mathematically tied up the 2011 titles with their victories, despite one race remaining in the series.
Anneke Beerten (Milka-Trek) easily dominated the small (seven rider) women's field. By the second corner in both her semi-final and the final, the Dutch rider was well in front of her rivals, and was the only woman to attempt the big jump halfway down the circuit. American Melissa Buhl won the second semi-final, and finished second to Beerten in the final, with Fionn Griffiths (Team GR) taking third.
Beerten, with three wins and a third, has 350 points, 160 points ahead of second place Buhl. A win is worth 100 points.
"I felt so much better here then in Leogang [Austria, where she finished third], said Beerten. "Here I just felt that I could pull it together and have some amazing runs. After so many World Cups, I still get pretty nervous, so to win and get the overall title as well makes it a perfect day."
Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) was once again unstoppable in the men's 4-Cross. By the first corner in each of his four races to victory, he held a significant lead by the first corner, and extended it as he headed to the finish line.
With world champion Thomas Slavik (RSP 4 Cross) crashing out of competition in qualifying, and second ranked David Graf of Switzerland also crashing, and not making the racing heats, Graves' competition was reduced. Roger Rinderknecht (BMC), the only rider other than Graves to win a World Cup this season, finished second to Graves in the final, with Guido Tschugg (Ghost Factory) taking third and Joost Wichman (RSP 4 Cross) fourth.
Graves has won the men's overall title with one event remaining. Even if he does not start the final event and Rinderknecht wins, the two will be tied on points at 425. However, the first tie-breaker is number of wins, and Graves would have three to Rinderknecht's two in that scenario.
"I actually felt pretty tired at the start of practice," commented Graves, "but every round I got better, and I ended the day in my semi and final with two solid runs down the hill. So I'm pumped to get the win after last year [when he lost the world championships here]."
- Canada's lone entry in the women's 4-Cross, Anne Laplante, finished seventh. In the men's competition, Harold Woolnough was ranked 18th overall, after finishing third in his 1/8th final heat. Tyler Paksi, the other Canadian entry in the men's competition finished 31st.
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