|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
MTB World Cup XC #4 & DH #3 - CDM
Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada, June 22-24, 2007
Race 7 - June 24: Elite Men 4X
Lopes takes 4X hat trick
By Mike Badyk and Rob Jones
Brian Lopes (GT) was the victor in a crash-marred World Cup 4X at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Lopes has won all three World Cup 4X races this season.
The main culprit was between the first and second corners below the start - from a sweeping left turn the racers had to gain speed to clear a triple jump, followed immediately by a high, bermed right turn. Many racers went down in this section, and it had to be considered a significant factor during the entire evening.
The men's race had a surprisingly small field, with only 28 competitors. Notable absentees were Cedric Gracia due to injury and Mickael Prokop who was racing BMX this weekend. This, in addition to his series domination, left Lopes as the favourite.
However, Lopes didn't have an easy evening. Having voiced his concerns over this course in years past, this year was no exception for Lopes. He had to work hard to make it into the final, where he was up against Scott Beaumont (Rocky Mountain UK), Filip Polc (Gravity Group) and Kamil Tatarkovic (Kona Les Gets).
At least in the final, Lopes jetted away to his easiest win of the evening.
"There was a lot of banging going on in the first turn," said the American rider. "It's pretty typical of UCI World Cup events this year that the first corners aren't so good, especially for four people going full speed in. Luckily, I had the inside every time and you had to go to the inside to protect your line.
"It was pretty sketchy," he continued. "I had to shut down the engine a little early in the first turn just so I wouldn't overcook it. Guys that were on the outside had a better arc into the first turn. They were going a little deeper into the first turn and a couple of times I felt like I had a couple of bike lengths, but I ended up behind because I had to shut it down. Guys were catching back up to me and then I had to let it go. You had to take your foot off so you didn't fall and a couple of times I had to jump the next triple without being clipped in! It was really sketchy. It was just one of those races. You could be the fastest guy and go out in the first round. Today I tried to use my head and be cautious and just make it through the rounds."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Frank Bodenmuller/PhotoSport International www.mtbsector.com
1 Brian Lopes (USA) 38.19 2 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk 38.44 3 Filip Polc (Svk) Gravity Group 39.04 4 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Kona Les Gets 38.19 5 Jared Graves (Aus) 38.02 6 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ssangyong-Fusion Pro Team 38.24 7 Ross Milan (USA) 39.02 8 Dale Holmes (GBr) 40.06 9 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 38.11 10 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 38.52 11 Joost Wichman (Ned) Gravity Group 39.13 12 Dominik Gspan (Swi) 39.54 13 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost International Racing Team 38.49 14 Will Longden (GBr) Team Mbuk Santacruz 39.35 15 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger) 39.54 16 Jurg Meijer (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 38.51 17 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team 38.13 18 Richard Houseman (USA) 38.43 19 Amiel Cavalier (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team 39.02 20 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Santa Cruz Syndicate 39.21 21 Andrew Neethling (RSA) 39.34 22 Cole Bangert (USA) 40.03 23 Mike Haderer (USA) 40.05 24 John Hauer (USA) 42.18 25 Jeremiah Work (USA) Decline 40.35 26 Samuel Zbinden (Swi) 41.06 27 Elias Somvi (Ita) Playbiker - Iron Horse 42.17 28 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Team G-Cross Honda 38.56 DNS Bryn Atkinson (Aus) DNS Cristian Araya (Chi) DNS Michael Hannah (Aus) Cannondale The Cut DNS Maurizio Acuna (Chi) DNS Ryan Condrashoff (USA) DNS Amado Stachenfeld (USA) DNS Joel Bain (Aus)