4X Pro Tour Report - Round 5

Sep 16, 2013 at 19:00
Sep 16, 2013
by The 4xProTour  
 
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After an amazing season of 4X, we arrived in Leogang for the 2013 4X ProTour finals. The track here in Leogang is a classic on the 4X circuit. Built by Guido Tschugg and modified recently in preparation for the 4X ProTour finals and the UCI 4X World Championships, the track has many different elements and is a real challenge for the riders. Straight out of the start, riders drop 15 feet into a bomb hole then straight back out with a stall wall. On the third straight there is a decision for the riders. Take the top line and ride the rock section, or go low and hit the ProLine doubles. The tracks then rejoin and head onto the longest straight in 4X. At full speed riders hit a bridge jump, then drop down to 2 big double jumps. Then a huge berm leads riders into the new rock box. A wooden box full of loose rocks. On hardtails, this section is about as technical as it gets on a mountain bike. Then it's a drop down to the finish line.


The practice sessions kicked off on Saturday and riders had a dry track until the rain came. It turned the perfect track into slippery, glass like terrain over an hour. Qualifying got going and first up it was the women. ProTour leader Katy Curd set a great time, as did BMX World Champion Caroline Buchanon. Romana Labounkova was flying and so was Celine Gros, however no one could touch the 2012 4X World Champion Anneke Beerten. Anneke put in a perfect lap on a track that is very hard to hit a good lap on.


In the men's there was a new fastest qualifier. Michael Mechura set the fastest time and got his hands on the number 1 plate for racing for the first time in his 4X career. 2nd place went to Tomas Slavik and 3rd to Australian rider Blake Niekson.

Sunday morning came and even though the weather forecasts said rain all day the riders were all loving the sun being out once more. A practice session before the race saw riders exploring new lines and getting ready for passing and being passed!

The women began their racing with quarter finals. German riders Julia Lackas and Tanja Hendrysiak were the big names knocked out in this round. In semi finals, either one of them could have been finals!

Semi final 1 had Anneke Beerten, Romana Labounkova, Celine Gros and Anna Borschig. The gate dropped and World Champ Beerten took the lead. At the end of the 2nd straight Beerten went for the doubles and Labounkova went for the rocks. Anneke was quickest and exited the section with a bigger lead. But Labounkova carried amazing speed onto the long straight catching Beerten up all the way. At the finish line, it was close but these 2 were well ahead of the others.

In semi final 2, it was Katy Curd, Caroline Buchanon, Helene Fruhwirth and Sarah Gerlach. It was a very similar race to semi final 1 but this time with Curd and Buchanon taking 1st and 2nd.

In the small final it was Celine Gros who took the win and the final place on the podium for the day. In the main final, Beerten took the lead and looked in command. Until, in the move of the day, Caroline Buchanon was the only woman to hit the pro line doubles. It was an inspired pass that took guts and determination. However when she landed the 2 riders came together and unfortunately Beerten crashed out. Curd then took up the chase and gained a bit of ground, but Buchanon had it all under control, taking the win from Curd, Labounkova and Beerten.

In the men's, the top half of the draw had Mechura, Derbier, Beaumont, Wichman, Beckeman, Marosi, Pesko and Last were all in there. In the bottom half it was Slavik, Riha, Carney, Niekson and Dolfin that were heading the charge for the win. In the first 2 rounds of racing there we some amazing races and passing. Unfortunately in the 1st round Blake Niekson crashed out and broke his collar bone. In heat 2 of the 2nd round there was a stacked race. Derbier, Marosi, Beaumont and Dowie lined up. A tangle in turn 1 emerged with Derbier in the lead from Marosi, Beaumont and Dowie. Into the final turn, Beaumont went tight and took the lead, Derbier then got by and 3 riders were battling for 2nd. Over the finish it was Beaumont that went through.

In the quarter finals, Beaumont, Wichman Derbier and Riha were the big names to go out. By the semi finals it was really starting to heat up.


In semi final 1 it was Mechura, Vejvoda, Beckeman and Last. Mechura was making the best starts of his life. He got the snap and led from start to finish. It was Beckeman that tucked into 2nd to also book his place in the final. In semi final 2, Slavik was lined up against Carney, Marco Muff and Aiko Gohler. The gate dropped and Slavik took no prisoners leading the race all the way to the finish. The race for 2nd was tight and all 3 riders were passing all the way to the finish, but it was American, Blake Carney who took 2nd and booked a place in the final.

In the small final, Benedikt Last had his best ever race taking the win and 5th overall for the night. In the main final, Mechura had gate 1, Slavik in 2, Beckeman in 3 and Carney in 4.


The gate dropped and Mechura held his nerve leading into turn 1. Slavik was close and tried a pass in turn 2 but couldn't get by. Mechura rode a flawless lap and took the win. Slavik held onto 2nd with Beckeman in 3rd and Blake Carney with his best ever result in 4th.

Mens Podium:

Women's Podium:

So after round 5 podium presentations, it was time for the overall presentations. In both men's and women's the scores were tight and the race results in Leogang really made a difference.

2013 4X ProTour Overall standings:

In the women's, Katy Curd is the 2013 4X ProTour Champion.
1st Katy Curd
2nd Celine Gros
3rd Helene Fruhwirth
4th Lucia Oetjen
5th Caroline Buchanon

In the men's, it was Tomas Slavik who took the title.
1st Tomas Slavik
2nd Felix Bwckeman
3rd Michal Prokop
4th Scott Beaumont
5th Quentin Derbier


That's it for season 2 of 4X ProTour. We have to thank the Tour organisers that have welcomed the 4X ProTour in:
Szczawno, Poland
Fort William, Scotland
Val Di Sole, Italy
Jablonec, Czech Republic
Leogang, Austria.

We would like to thank all the journalists, photographers, film makers, marshals, medics and officials that have helped throughout the year. Finally and most of all we would like to thank the riders for continually putting on such a great show for the spectators and pushing the limits of what is possible on a hardtail mountain bike.

4X ProTour will be back again in 2014.


For more information on the 4X ProTour, visit www.4xprotour.com


UCI Four-Cross Men Results-Rd5 Leogang 2013 by Chris Roberts


UCI Four-Cross Men Results-Rd5 Leogang 2013 by Chris Roberts


UCI Four-Cross Women Results-Rd5 Leogang 2013 by Chris Roberts


UCI Four-Cross Women Results-Rd5 Leogang 2013 by Chris Roberts

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27 Comments

  • + 20
 "4X ProTour will be back again in 2014."
YYYEEEESSSS!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Caroline is the female jared Graves. Amazing work! World Champ in BMX, exceptional result in South Africa and now this. That chick rules two wheels.
  • + 1
 Caroline is definitely the best all-rounder over there, but I'd say that it's Anneke Beerten who dominated the scene of 4x during recent few years just like Jared did Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Katy Curd is damn fast. She could have won the Pumptrack challenge during Crankworx. I noticed that she couldn't hear the start horn on her first round, which set her back a bit. With all the cheering, loud commentator, and having the start horn not between the riders, there was definitely a a look of "where the hell is she going?" in Katy's start reaction time and head movement. Maybe next year.
  • + 2
 sorry Caroline B.
  • + 7
 I'm terrible with names! And she's really cute...
  • + 0
 Noo man , you re confused ! its Helene Fruhwirth thats cute and stands on top of the podium in the picture !
  • + 1
 and yes shes cute
  • + 3
 um no is Caroline Buchanon on the top
  • + 3
 Whoever it is I'm in love
  • + 2
 www.cyclingtribe.com/userfiles/cb3.jpg

It's Caroline Buchanan. Can't blame you for loving her!
  • + 1
 GAAA! NSFS (not-safe-for-school) that stuff man! The tech guy is gonna come knocking on my door now....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 We had to wait too long for this article, I've eaten almost all of my nails during these two days!! Congrats to Michael, he'll be a serious threat to Slavik next week, but what about Lucas - is he only into BMXes now? And Graf? Hopefully Prokop will be back for worlds, it will be one hell of a final!
  • + 2
 Graf injured at the BMX worlds and will not be able to race.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Top work (again!) Caroline!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I haven't heard much of 4x racing in a while. Does nobody care anymore?
  • + 4
 I care, love 4X.......I don't understand why it's not more popular.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would like to see pics if Caroline hitting the pro section ????
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Big ups to Blake Carney! Good luck this weekend too! Keep on keepin on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone have any video of the course?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 4th Lucia Oetjen lol?
[Reply]

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