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MTB World Cup XC #5 & DH #3 - CDM

Fort William, Scotland, June 6-8, 2008

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Race 2 - June 6: Elite men 4X,

Graves comes back

By Luke Webber in Fort William

Jared Graves (Yeti Fox)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Tonight in a bright Fort William, Jared Graves (Yeti Fox) made an emphatic comeback to four cross racing with a convincing win in the finals and throughout every round. Last year on the same course, Graves suffered a devastating blowout on the final jump which saw his dream of becoming World Champion evaporate. Instead, tonight a personal score was settled and Graves stepped up as a favourite for this years Worlds in Italy.

For the Yeti Cycles rider this was the first World Cup of 2008 because he has been focussing on training for BMX at the Olympics, an event for which he has been selected. But even more surprising is that before this event Graves had not been on his mountain bike at all! In fact, the last time he rode big wheels was over eight months ago in Maribor for the World Cup Finals.

This did not put Graves off though as following a couple of easy laps on the cross country course early in the week and some four cross practice, it was business as usual. The win was not without error though, as one slip on the second bend could have cost Graves victory.

"The course got so blown out, I was just happy to keep it upright. Anything could have happened out there tonight. The corners up top were flat and slippery which made turning and accelerating tough, which are the two key elements in four cross. Halfway down I was wondering why this couldn't have come off last year, what could have been."

Conditions under tires certainly contributed to the results list and for once everyone was talking positively about the weather under the Ben. All of the tracks were dusty, cut up and in places covered in deep sand. Last week's winner Dan Atherton (Animal Commencal) was powerless to stop Graves and could only manage third. It seemed all evening that the plan would not come together and there was no perfect run in the bag this time.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net


Elite men
1 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team         
2 Joost Wichman (Ned) Cannondale Factory Racing              
3 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal                        
4 Michal Prokop (Cze)                                        
5 Guido Tschugg (Ger)                                        
6 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spa)                         
7 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Team Ghost International          
8 Gracia Cédric (Fra) Commencal - Furious - Oakley Team      
9 Filip Polc (Svk) Kenda Tomac                               
10 Ross Milan (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team          
11 Tomas Slavik (Cze)                                        
12 Mickael Deldycke (Fra)                                    
13 Lewis Lacey (GBr)                                         
14 Frans Sjoblom (Swe)                                       
15 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK                    
16 Will Longden (GBr) Team BikeRadar                         
17 Jurg Meijer (Ned)                                         
18 Thomas Schäfer (Ger)                                      
19 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)                                    
20 Joey Van Veghel (Ned)                                     
21 Michael Robert Haderer (USA)                              
22 Lee White (GBr)                                           
22 Randal Huntington (Aus)                                   
24 Adrian Weiss (Swi) Tomac Factory Racing                   
25 Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Factory Racing              
26 Lars Sternberg (USA)                                      
27 Duncan Ferris (GBr)                                       
28 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)                             
29 Rhys Willemse (Aus) Tomac Factory Racing                  
30 James Norton (GBr)                                        
31 Bernard Kerr (GBr)                                        
32 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense      
33 Daniel Auerswald (Ger) IXS Sports Division Racing Team    
34 Martin Ogden (GBr)                                        
35 William Evans (GBr)                                       
36 Dave Richardson (GBr)                                     
37 Adrian Kiener (Swi)                                       
38 Nicolas Gspan (Swi)                                       
39 Mitchell Scarr (Aus)                                      
40 James Wilson (GBr)                                        
41 Ludovic Gadois (Fra)                                      
42 Rudy Unrau (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team          
43 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Suzuki-RB                          
44 Adrian Hanko (Ger) Solid Aclass Factory Team              
45 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn                           
46 Dominik Gspan (Swi)