It started raining last night in Leogang, and it's still coming down, turning the previous few days dry dusty track into a slow wet one. Anneke Beerten qualified first for the women, and David Graf for the men, no real surprises in that. But with so many top men racing tomorrows finals should be exciting, especially if the rain lets up.
Complete Results at bottom
Tomas Slavik, Scott Beaumont, Joost Wichman and Felix Beckeman got together to film this GoPro POV Course Check.
The view out of the press tent was depressing enough, but the way the roof acts to amplify the sound of liquid fury from the heavens... let's just say most of the photographers and videographers were reluctant at best to head out for 4X Qualifying.
Rider 111, Sylvain Andre, checking tire pressure on the bottom section of track.
Norbert Papp pinning it for home.
The steady rain made for a slow track. Slow enough that very few riders attempted the big double, and most that did cased the landing a bit.
One rider who didn't case the big double was David Graf. The Swiss rider drilled the 4X course, taking the pole position over Slavik by a mere .006 seconds.
another rider that didn't have any problems clearing the big jump today in the muddy conditions was Tomas Slavik!
Legendary form, legendary rider: Roger Rinderknecht. Into 4th
I imagine that 21 year old Felix Beckemen is somewhere here in Leogang, getting quietly drunk tonight and trying to forget qualifying. Or rather, not qualifying. Not that he's a drinker, per say; but the guy crashed out in qualifying. At Worlds. That's enough to make almost anyone want to go curl up with a bottle for a while.
Prokop's countryman Thomas Slavik would like nothing better than to rip the rainbow jersey off Prokop's back; but I don't think Prokop's going to just let that happen. However, Slavik did edge Prokop out by .013 seconds in qualifying. Maybe half a pedal stroke. It's only qualifying, but the odds for Prokop to successfully defend look a bit slimmer than they did before qualifying.
The reigning 4X World Champ Michal Prokop. Prokop's one of the nicest guys out there. Except on the track. Nobody pays 4X racers to be nice on the track.
Melissa Buhl pinning it in, but not as fast has she had hoped for. The former World Champ was only 1.776 seconds off of Beerten's time, but she was 7 spots back. That's not going to mean good gates for Buhl, but she is qualified for the 8 rider women's 4X final.
Romana Labounkova crossed the line just .322 sec behind Anneke. The gap between first and fift place was less than one second! Expect some great racing tomorrow!
Bas de Bever and Anneke Beerten just a few short moments before her qualifying run.
Anneke Beerten shutting it down after laying down the fastest qualifying time.