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UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg Men/Women’s 4X Finals Report, Photos – Beerten and Graves Win

by Fraser Britton

April 22, 2009 (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) – Top qualifiers Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team and Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team have taken home the 4X victories at World Cup #1 here in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Both riders went undefeated all evening to take the wins against anemic fields – a grand total of seven women and 28 men took to the start line.

Clear skies and a fast track greeted riders, and the racing was fast and furious with almost every round including some sort of a crash or incident. Defending World Champion Timo Slavik (CZE) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team went down in an earlier round about halfway down the track when he went too high on a corner and slid out.

Graves had this to say following the race, “It felt really good. The first one is nerve wracking to get out of the way. You always want to get the first win of the year under the belt. I always feel a bit more anxious at the first race than any of the others. I’m really happy to get this win out of the way. With all the travelling the last three weeks, preparation hasn’t been ideal, but now I get to go home for the next month and pick up a bit more speed and keep this roll going.”

Beerten was excited at her first win for her new team, “It went really well. As soon as I hit the track two days ago I was feeling really good. I like this track, it’s fast and challenging. Today’s racing went exactly as I planned it. I’m stoked to take the first race of the season.”

The downhill finals takes place on Sunday, where Tracey Moseley (GBR) and Mick Hannah (AUS) are in first following the qualifications.

Results (brief)

Elite Women

Big Final

1. Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team
2. Fionn Griffiths (Gbr) Team GR
3. Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie
4. Lucia Oetjen (Sui)

Small Final

5. Anita Molcik (Aut)
6. Katy Curd (Gbr) Rose Biikes
7. Melissa Buhl (USA) KHS

Elite Men

Big Final

1. Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
2. Michal Prokop (Cze) Specialized
3. Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team
4. Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team

Small Final

5. David Graf (Sui)
6. Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)
7. Joost Wichman (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
8. Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)

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