|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
MTB World Cup DH 4X #1 - CDM
Vigo, Spain, May 11-13, 2007
Stage 6 - May 12: 4X Elite men final
Gee, what a race!
By Greg Johnson
British rider Gee Atherton made the most of his rivals' misfortune to take an impressive victory in the Elite Men's 4X final. The Animal Commencal team rider used the simplest of tactics, which his world champion rivals couldn't replicate, to win the event: that tactic was to stay upright.
The pace was hot from the get-go, with Atherton bursting into the lead by the first corner with multiple world champion Brian Lopes and reigning world champion Michael Prokop close behind. Some 20,000 spectators turned out for the event at Vigo's spectacular new 4X circuit and the riders didn't fail to impress, putting on a nail biting and crash-ridden final.
"The circuit is very fast and, because of that, there were too many falls," said eventual winner Atherton. "To gain, I took advantage of Michal Prokop's error in the final."
Prokop ended any hopes he held of winning the event after a spectacular fall from grace which saw the Czech Republican rider hit the ground after miscalculating a jump. He wasn't the only lead rider to bite the dust, with American Lopes also feeling gravity's effect in full force in a spectacular multi-rider tumble. The duo recovered to finished third and second respectively.
"I jumped too long and I could not control the fall," explained Prokop of his incident.
Gravity Group's Netherlands rider Joost Wichman was the four rider across the line.
After being the second quickest qualifier for the event, Australia's Jared Graves finished one step off the podium in sixth place. Top qualifier Dan Atherton (Animal Commencal) couldn't carry his opening form into a strong final result and finished the event in 13th place.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Maria Muina
Images by Frank Bodenmuller/PhotoSport International
1 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 2 Brian Lopes (USA) 3 Michal Prokop (Cze) 4 Joost Wichman (Ned) Gravity Group 5 Romain Saladini (Fra) 6 Jared Graves (Aus) 7 Roger Rinderknecht (Swi) 8 Will Longden (GBr) Team Mbuk Santacruz 9 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost International Racing Team 10 Sidney Gerber (Swi) 11 Michael Hannah (Aus) Cannondale The Cut 12 Dominik Gspan (Swi) 13 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 14 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Kona Les Gets 15 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ssangyong-Fusion Pro Team 16 Tomas Slavik (Cze) 17 Filip Polc (Svk) Gravity Group 18 Jurg Meijer (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 19 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk 20 Camille Beaulieu (Fra) 21 Daniel Auerswald (Ger) 22 William Evans (GBr) 23 Borja Carrasco Morera (Spa) 24 Lewis Lacey (GBr) 25 Aurelien Giordanengo (Fra) 26 Adrian Kiener (Swi) 27 Martin Ogden (GBr) Stendec Racing 28 Daniel Yeomans (GBr) 29 Robin Wallner (Swe) 30 Carmine Falco (Fra) 31 Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) Massi 32 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lu (Spa) 33 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Team G-Cross Honda 34 Lukas Mechura (Cze) 35 Christopher Van Dine (USA) Cannondale The Cut 36 Duncan Ferris (GBr) 37 Luke Strom (Aus) Ssangyong-Fusion Pro Team 38 Premek Tajchman (Cze) 40 Jordan Gould (GBr) Stendec Racing 41 Mario Sieder (Aut) 42 Thomas Warmuth (Aut) Team Hotec / Rsp 43 Bostjan Volf (Slo) Arb? Rsp Downhill Racing Team 44 Patricio Herrero Dura (Spa) 45 Nicolas Gspan (Swi) 46 Daniel Prijkel (Ned) 47 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger) 48 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Santa Cruz Syndicate 49 Dave Wardell (GBr) Gt / Burgtec 50 Georg Engel (Aut) 51 Dimitri Jeziorek (Fra) 52 Stephen Taylor (GBr) Stendec Racing 53 James Norton (GBr) Stendec Racing 54 Guido Dracone (Ita) 56 Richard Cunynghame (GBr) Mtb-Direct.Co.Uk 58 Andrew Neethling (RSA) 59 Cole Bangert (USA) 60 Peter Fernbach (Aut) Arb? Rsp Downhill Racing Team 61 Jesus Castellanos Torres (Spa) DNF Cedric Gracia (Fra)