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MTB World Cup DH #1 - CDM

Maribor, Slovenia, May 9-11, 2008

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Race 2 - May 10: 4X Finals,

New Names Dominate

By Luke Webber

Alvares takes his first
Photo ©: Luke Webber
(Click for larger image)

As predicted, with team changes and star riders missing it was a case of learning the new names in the four cross this evening at the first round of the World Cup in 2008.

The Maribor track was very dry, made up of dust and rocks producing a very difficult surface to race on. With a lot of braking points, the track became cut up and looser as the race went on and for many, bad luck dictated an early exit from the competition.

From the gate, the track went into a series of jumps, a left turn and then a right. It was this last opening turn that ended the hopes for many riders as everyone accelerated franticly to have any chance of making the triple that followed. In practice, fastest qualifier Dan Atherton looked fast as he dialled the outside line on one bend with immense speed. However, in heat one he had to come from dead last to squeak through into round two. Unfortunately, there would be no rerun in this heat and a bad first third of the race made any comeback impossible.

It was left to Cedric Gracia, Romain Saladini and Guido Tschugg in the two semi finals to hold the old guard strong, but only Tschugg could advance to the final leaving Gracia to claim the small event.

Just as in every heat that came before, Rafael Alvarez dominated the finals to take a convincing win ahead of Tschugg. Johannes Fischback was third and Tomas Slavik fourth.

The women's races were less of a new-names affair, with three of the top four qualifiers making it to the final, but there was the notable absence of Jill Kintner. She is concentrating on the Olympic BMX, which left the door wide open for Anneke Beerten to squeeze through. In the past three years Beerten has always been competitive – even beating Kintner on occasions – but it was consistency at the very top level that defied her. Today however, she looked like the new winning face of fourcross.

Second place was something of a surprise – Anita Molcik put in three solid rides and in the process confirmed second step on the box ahead of the far more experienced Fionn Griffiths and Melissa Buhl.

Tomorrow is the first World Cup Downhill race and everyone's eyes are on Sam Hill.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Luke Webber / www.lukewebber.com


Elite men

Big final
1 Lara De Alvarez (Spa) Lu Rafael                          250 pts
2 Guido Tschugg (Ger)                                      200
3 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Team Ghost International        150
4 Tomas Slavik (Cze)                                       120

Small final
5 Cédric Gracia (Fra) Commencal - Furious                  100 pts
6 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn                           80
7 Mickael Deldycke (Fra)                                    60
8 Jurg Meijer (Ned)                                         50

1/4 finals
9 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Suzuki-Rb                     0.53.40
10 Tomas Haluza (Cze)                                  0.55.67
11 Dave Wardell (GBr)                                  0.55.77
12 Sidney Gerber (Swi)                                 0.56.68
13 Filip Polc (Svk) Kenda Tomac                        0.54.20
14 William Evans (GBr)                                 0.56.58
15 Miroslav Jirka (Cze)                                0.56.97
16 Livio Zampieri (Ita)                                0.55.20

1/8 finals
17 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal                 0.52.35
18 Ross Milan (USA) Yeti Fox Shox                      0.53.69
19 Tilen Frank (Slo) Team Scott Lactat                 0.54.70
20 Lewis Lacey (GBr)                                   0.55.51
21 Lukas Mechura (Cze)                                 0.55.96
22 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycle         0.56.22
23 Luka Novak (Slo) Team Enduro Mulisha                0.56.71
24 Bernard Kerr (GBr)                                  0.57.91
25 Joost Wichman (Ned) Cannondale Factory Racing       0.54.26
26 Dominik Gspan (Swi)                                 0.55.35
27 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk              0.55.44
28 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Santa Cruz Syndicate            0.55.48
29 Radim Kvacek (Cze)                                  0.55.68
30 Premek Tejchman (Cze)                               0.55.98
31 Markus Sedlak (Aut)                                 0.56.51
32 Federico Ravizzini (Ita)                            0.57.93

1/16 finals
33 Brian Lopes (USA)                                   0.54.20
34 Matej Stapic (Slo) Team Enduro Mulisha              0.55.70
35 Mathieu Faury (Fra)                                 0.55.72
36 Robert Michael Haderer (USA)                        0.55.75
37 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)                              0.55.97
38 Thomas Schäfer (Ger)                                0.56.11
39 Rastislav Pirman (Svk)                              0.56.32
40 Jakub Pytlik (Cze)                                  0.56.43
41 Peter Prajczer (Hun)                                0.56.61
42 Gabor Vigh-Kiss (Hun)                               0.56.74
43 Adrian Kiener (Swi)                                 0.56.89
44 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)                       0.56.91
45 Marek Pesko (Svk)                                   0.57.02
46 Nicolas Siedl (Aut)                                 0.57.06
47 Thomas Warmuth (Aut)                                0.57.07
48 Mattia Federico Gemme (Ita)                         0.57.29
49 Joey Van Veghel (Ned)                               0.57.30
50 Daniel Prijkel (Ned)                                0.57.66
51 Peter Novacik (Svk)                                 0.57.73
52 Adrian Weiss (Swi) Tomac Factory Racing             0.57.78
53 Sascha Vetsch (Swi)                                 0.57.84
54 Zdenek Nasinec (Cze)                                0.57.86
55 Frédéric Lange (Bel)                                0.58.04
56 Lukasz Baran (Pol)                                  0.58.48
57 Nicolas Gspan (Swi)                                 0.58.60
58 Alejandro Lozano (Spa) Motril-Sierra Nevada Bike    0.55.73
59 Hannes Slavik (Aut)                                 0.57.97
60 Peter Fernbach (Aut)                                0.58.18
61 Matej Vitko (Svk)                                   0.54.87
62 Martin Frei (Swi)                                   0.57.33
63 Ales Rogozan (Cze)                                  0.57.38
64 Will Longden (GBr) Team Bike Radar                  0.55.74

Elite women

Big final
1 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Ms-Intense Factory-Racing Factory-Racing    250 pts
2 Anita Molcik (Aut)                                               150
3 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team World Team                100
4 Melissa Buhl (USA)                                                80

Small final
5 Lucia Oetjen (Swi)                                                60 pts
6 Helene Fruhwirth (Aut)                                            40
7 Castro Fernandez Eva (Spa) Esp                                    20
8 Diana Marggraff (Ecu)                                             10

1/4 finals
9 Kathleen Pruitt (USA)                                        1.05.66
10 Marielle Jonker (Ned)                                       1.05.89
11 Tereza Votavova (Cze)                                       1.09.28
12 Katarina Tothova (Cze)                                      1.14.31
13 Elisa Canepa (Ita) Playbiker - Iron Horse - Iron Horse      1.08.16
14 Angelika Hohenwarter (Aut)                                  1.24.89
4 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) Ms-Intense Factory-Racing Factory-Racing   1.02.13