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UCI MTB World Cup 4X #3 Leogang Elite Men/Women’s Final Report

by Fraser Britton

June 11, 2011 (Leogang, Austria) – There’s something about a 4X in Austria that just seems to mean rain, and Saturday evening was no exception. The skies opened up just as 4X training was about to begin for the second night in a row, and didn’t let up until after finals were over. Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team dominated the field, switching at will between the pro line and the regular line when he saw fit. For the women it was Romana Labounkova (CZE) who took home the win over a much larger than usual field.

For the first time in ages, there was a 16-strong women’s field and a full roster of 64 riders in the men’s final. The track was a slight reworking of the Guido Tschugg-designed track from last year, with the addition of a pro line featuring a few massive gaps, but a much shorter distance. Once you dove in out of the second corner you were committed. One mistake and you were stuck in a hole you were not getting out of.

Graves went gate to gate and made no mistakes this week. Once again it seems like every race is his to lose. “It feels really good. Last weekend was my worst result in probably three years. It was the first time since Bromont in 2009 that I haven’t made the finals. I was a bit more nervous than normal trying to make up for a bad race last week, so I’m really happy.

“The weather played a part in not taking the pro line. The rain had it chopped up and rough, and the corner coming into the rocks was super slick. It was a gamble. I just babied it around the last corner in sight of the finish. So easy to put it down there. I just wanted to control the race from the front. It was a last minute decision and it worked really well.”

Labounkova managed to get out in front of American Melissa Buhl and dutch rider Anneke Beerten (Milka Trek) right out of the gate. Without many places for passing on a short track, it was an easy victory given her level of fitness.

No Canadians were entered in the 4X at Leogang.


Elite Women

Big Final
1. Romana Labounkova (Cze)
2. Melissa Buhl (USA)
3. Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team
4. Lucia Oetjen (Sui)

Small Final
5. Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine – Avoriaz / Haute – Savoie
6. Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria
7. Fionn Griffiths (Gbr) Team GR
8. Steffi Marth (Ger)

1/4 Finals
9. Angelika Hohenwarter (Aut)
10. Neza Knez (Slo) Unior Tools Team
11. Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee
12. Nichola Anderson (Gbr)
13. Tereza Votavova (Cze)
14. Alia Marcellini (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop
15. Suzanne Lacey (Gbr)
DNS Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Bra)

Elite Men

Big Final
1. Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
2. David Graf (Sui)
3. Tomas Slavik (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
4. Michal Prokop (Cze)

Small Final
5. Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)
6. Romain Saladini (Fra)
7. Lukas Mechura (Cze) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof
8. William Evans (Gbr)

1/4 Finals
9. Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)
10. Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team
11. Jakub Riha (Cze)
12. Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
13. Joost Wichman (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
14. Pascal Seydoux (Sui)
15. Lear Miller (USA)
16. Premek Tejchman (Cze)

1/8 Finals
17. Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team
18. Daniel Prijkel (Ned) Team Merida Combee
19. Petr Muhlhans (Cze)
20. Simon Waldburger (Sui)
21. Benedikt Last (Ger)
22. Jakub Hnidak (Cze)
23. Piotr Paradowski (Pol)
24. Ashley Gray (Aus)
25. Hannes Slavik (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria
26. Blake Carney (USA)
27. Quentin Derbier (Fra)
28. Scott Beaumont (Gbr)
29. Scott Roberts (Gbr)
30. Reto Schmid (Sui)
31. Jurg Meijer (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
32. Adam Stasek (Cze)

Standings after 3 Rounds (brief)

Elite Women
1. Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team 250 pts
2. Lucia Oetjen (Sui) 130
3. Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine – Avoriaz / Haute – Savoie 120

Elite Men
1. Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 300 pts
2. David Graf (Sui) 250
3. Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)

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