Canadian Cyclist


June 20/09 12:30 pm - Maribor World Cup: 4X Final Report & Full Results

Posted by Editoress on 06/20/09

Round five of the 4-Cross Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia saw some of the most aggressive and exciting racing of the year, under the most adverse conditions.  Both World Cup leaders Jill Kintner (Red Bull/Intense/Crankbrothers) and Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) held onto their leader's jerseys, but saw their winning streaks broken, with Caroline Buchanan of Australia taking her first World Cup win in the women's race, while Joost Wichman (ESP) proved that his win in round three was no fluke.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight and in the morning had caused the cancellation of Downhill qualifying (the gondolas had to be shut down), and left the 4-Cross track a muddy, slippery mess.  Almost all riders resorted to spiked tires, and there were still crashes in every round of competition.

Kintner, Buchanan and round one winner Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center) easily qualified through to the Final, while world champion Melissa Buhl (KHS) had a little harder time, just scrapping through the quarterfinals after a late pass of Anita Molcik (Yeti Fox Shox).  Downhiller Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center) won the women's small final to take the fifth and final podium spot.

In the Final, Kintner had her usual fast start, followed by Buchanan.  However, things came apart when Beerten came up fast on the outside out of the first corner.  Kintner drifted across wide and into her perennial rival, knocking Beerten off the track and then crashing herself.  This left Buchanan and Buhl in the race, with the Australian well in front and easily cruising in for the win.  Buhl rolled across second and Beerten was the first back on her bike to take third and close on Kintner in the overall standings.

Kintner, the only rider with two wins in the series, held onto the leader's jersey, but now leads Beerten by a slim five points with three races remaining.  Round three winner Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team) is a distant third at 225 points.

"The conditions were unreal," commented Buchanan.  "It was so slippery, so loose, that anyone could have taken it.  I saw Jill and Anneke [crash], and I knew that I had it then.  It is unbelievable to win."

The men's competition had few surprises in the first two rounds, with all the favourites moving through with the exception of Michael Deldycke, who crashed hard in the first round, and has potentially broken his collarbone.

The action really began to heat up in the quarterfinals, with the first two races as stacked as a Final.  Graves, Wichman, Johannes Fischbach (Ghost ATG) and Guido Tschugg (Ghost ATG) were all capable of winning in the first heat, and the action was fast and rough.  Graves got off to his patented fast start, only to be passed by Wichman and then run into by a hard charging Tschugg.  Tschugg crashed out, while Graves had to fight back to take second and move on to the semifinal round.

In the second heat, it was former world champion Michal Prokop (Red Bull), Dan Atherton (Animal Commencal) and world champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Specialized Factory Racing) fighting to move on.  Prokop took the lead, but Atherton and Alvarez fought all the way to the line, with much pushing and shoving in the corners before Atherton finally managed to prevail.

The action continued in the semi final round, with Graves up against Wichman again, joined by Prokop and Atherton.  After a fast start by Graves, his right foot slipped off his pedal before the first corner, knocking the series leader back to last while Wichman shot into the lead.  Graves put on an incredible display of handling and finesse in the mud by catching first Prokop and then Atherton within 200 metres to move into second and make the Final.

In the other semifinal, Roger Rinderknecht (GT Bicycles) made it look easy with his fourth straight win, while Romain Saladini (Team Sunn) had to come from behind to beat a surprisingly strong Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic) and make the Final.  Slavik easily took the men's small final for the fifth podium spot.

In the Final, Graves again got the holeshot out of the gate onto the first straightaway, but Wichman made a gutsy move in the second corner to slip through on the outside, forcing Graves to brake and drop to third behind Saladini.  In the fourth corner, Graves managed to get back into second while Rinderknecht moved into third, but Wichman was long gone and celebrating his second win of the season.

"I feel great, to get this win!," exclaimed Wichman right after his run.  "I had a bad lane [lane 4], but I was able to get by Roger [Rinderknecht] in the first corner, and then I knew my only chance was to try going high-low for the lead, and it worked."

The win moved Wichman into second in the overall standings, but still 194 points behind Graves' 520 total after five rounds.  While the Australia is starting to look unbeatable for the title, the battle for second is very strong, with Rinderknecht only 16 points behind Wichman, and Saladini another 10 points in arrears.

Results from today's Final round in Maribor, Slovenia

Big Final
1 Caroline Buchanan (Aus)
2 Melissa Buhl (USA) KHS
3 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Suspension Center
4 Jill Kintner (USA) Red Bull/Intense/Crankbrothers

Small Final
5 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center
6 Jana Horakova (Cze)
7 Mio Suemasa (Jpn)
8 Diana Marggraff (Ecu)

1/4 Finals
9 Anita Molcik (Aut) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
10 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team
11 Joanna Petterson (RSA)
12 Eva Castro Fernandez (Esp)
13 Katy Curd (GBr)
14 Lucia Oetjen (Sui)
15 Rachel Seydoux (Sui)
16 Tereza Votavova (Cze)


Big Final
1 Joost Wichman (Ned)
2 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
3 Roger Rinderknecht (Sui) GT Bicycles
4 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn

Small Final
5 Tomas Slavik (Cze)
6 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal
7 Matej Vitko (Svk)
8 Michal Prokop (Cze)

1/4 Finals
9 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Esp) Specialized Factory Racing
10 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
11 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing
12 Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team
13 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
14 Quentin Derbier (Fra)
15 Will Longden (GBr)
16 Arne Tschugg (Ger)

1/8 Finals
17 Jurg Meijer (Ned)
18 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk
19 Matej Stapic (Slo)
20 Michal Marosi (Cze)
21 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)
22 Luka Novak (Slo)
23 Scott Roberts (GBr)
24 Ghislain Ricci (Fra)
25 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)
26 Joey Van Veghel (Ned)
27 Marek Pesko (Svk)
28 Petrik Brückner (Ger)
29 Javier Guijarro Villacieros (Esp) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team
30 William Evans (GBr)
31 Stefan Scherz (Ger)
32 Felix Beckeman (Swe)

1/16 Finals
33 Pascal Seydoux (Sui)
34 Tilen Frank (Slo)
35 Lewis Lacey (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense
36 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)
37 Peter Prajczer (Hun)
38 Bernard Kerr (GBr)
39 Piotr Paradowski (Pol)
40 Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team
41 Adrian Kiener (Sui)
42 Ziga Knez (Slo)
43 Florian Gottschlich (Ger)
44 David Axelsson (Swe)
45 Jakub Pytlik (Cze)
46 Robert Simecek (Cze)
47 Sidney Gerber (Sui)
48 Lukas Mechura (Cze) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense
49 Jan Novak (Cze)
50 Dominik Gspan (Sui)
51 Hannes Slavik (Aut)
52 Rastislav Pirman (Svk)
53 Radim Kvacek (Cze)
54 Tom Dowie (GBr)
55 Jakub Hnidak (Cze)
56 Adrian Weiss (Sui) Scott 11
57 Lukas Jaeger (Sui)
58 Andreas Dotzauer (Ger)
59 Adam Stasek (Cze) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
60 Jakub Riha (Cze)
61 Daniel Auerswald (Ger)
DNF Mickael Deldycke (Fra)
DNF Kieran Mcavoy (GBr)
DSQ Thomas Krainer (Aut) 


World Cup Standings

1 Jill Kintner (USA) Red Bull/Intense/Crankbrothers 310 pts
2 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Suspension Center 305
3 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 225
4 Jana Horakova (Cze) 205
5 Caroline Buchanan (Aus) 185
6 Melissa Buhl (USA) KHS 175
7 Romana Labounkova (Cze) 90
8 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 90
9 Anita Molcik (Aut) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 30
10 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 15
11 Diana Marggraff (Ecu) 5
12 Rachel Seydoux (Sui) 5
13 Lucia Oetjen (Sui) 5
14 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) 5
1 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 550 pts
2 Joost Wichman (Ned) 326
3 Roger Rinderknecht (Sui) GT Bicycles 310
4 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn 300
5 Michal Prokop (Cze) Author 200
6 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 166
7 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Esp) Specialized Factory Racing 120
8 Luke Madill (Aus) GT Bicycles 100
9 Tomas Slavik (Cze) 100
10 Lukas Mechura (Cze) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 94
11 Jurg Meijer (Ned) 91
12 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost ATG 66
13 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost ATG 59
14 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing 50
15 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK 47
16 Mickael Deldycke (Fra) 40
17 Cédric Gracia (Fra) 40
18 Matej Vitko (Svk) 34
19 Pascal Seydoux (Sui) 30
20 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 30
21 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) 25
22 Quentin Derbier (Fra) 23
23 David Graf (Sui) 20
24 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger) 20
25 William Evans (GBr) 14
26 Joey Van Veghel (Ned) 14
27 Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 11
28 Lewis Lacey (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 11
29 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr) 11
30 Darryn Stow (RSA) 11
31 Michal Marosi (Cze) 8
32 Will Longden (GBr) 6
33 Arne Tschugg (Ger) 2
34 Marek Pesko (Svk) 2
35 Adam Stasek (Cze) Ghost ATG 2
36 Premek Tejchman (Cze) 2


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