The third and final round of the 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series was held last weekend at Leibstadt, Switzerland. Right on the German border, the track in Northern Switzerland is fantastic. A permanent Bensink start gate, pro line doubles, rhythm section, massive turns and an on site marquee where the races are shown live to the fans! It really is a great set up and well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.
On Saturday there was a Swiss 4X Cup race where most of the European riders who were present raced. This race was won by local rider Simon Wladburger who was fresh of his best ever result in the 4X ProTour a week earlier in Czech Republic where he finished in the top 8.
Saturday evening, it was great to see 2012 4X World Champion Roger Rinderknecht back on the bike and racing on the pump track, however it was a Saturday clean sweep for Waldburger who also took the win on the tight and twisty pumptrack.
So Sunday morning arrived and it was time for the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series finals. The biggest news was that Series points leaders Tomas Slavik and Katy Curd were not racing this round as Tomas was injured from the 4X ProTour and Katy was in Whistler attending Crankworks. With the overall points totals being very close in the men’s and women’s, the door was wide open to take the overall series titles.
Qualifying got underway. In the women’s it was Anna Borschig who took the fastest time ahead of Tanja Hendrysiak and Julia Lackas. In the men’s it was Quentin Derbier who was fastest ahead of Scott Beaumont. Hannes Slavik, Lucas Mechura and Waldburger.
So, with qualifying all done racing began at 13.00. Benedikt Last and Stefano Balestracci were the first big names to go out in the first round. Then in the quarter finals they were surprisingly joined by Dave Richardson, Aiko Gohler, Marek Pesko and Beni Kistner amongst others.
By semi finals we were left with the top 8. In semi final 1, Derbier took gate 1, Lucas Mechura in 2, Waldburger in 3 and Mysik in 4. The gate dropped and immediately after the first rock drop, Mechura had a rear puncture. He was out. Derbier was flying and looked in full control as the battle for 2nd raged on. On the last straight though, Derbier slowed with a mechanical which allowed Waldburger and Mysik to close the gap. Across the line, it was close but Derbier missed out. A huge shock to see the number 1 and 4 seeded riders go out in the semi final.
Semi final 2 was in the gate. Beaumont had gate 1, Michal Mechura in 2, Hannes Slavik in 3 and Mirco Weiss in 4. The gate dropped and Mechura just got over on Beaumont into the tight first turn. On the second straight Beaumont was sat in 2nd when disaster struck – a rear puncture. He carried on but Slavik and Weiss passed him on the third straight. Mechura and Slavik were through to the final. A wild couple of semi finals that saw 3 of the top 4 seeds knocked out.
So it was final time and first up were the women. In the small final it was Julia Lackas who made a great start and led the race from start to finish to claim 5th place for the day which was also enough to boost her up to 6th overall in the series.
Next it was the women’s final. Borschig took gate 1, Hendrysiak in 2, Jessica Schmulbach in 3 and Denise Weisner in 4. The gate dropped and Borschig got the holeshot. Hendrysiak then went wide to carry speed in turn 1 but washed out on the loose sand. Schulmbach and Wiesner were a little held up in the crash and Borschig was gone. Across the line it was Borschig from Schulmbah and Weisner with Hendrysiak in 4th.
The win in qualifying and in the final was enough for Anna Borschig to take the overall series title by just 9 points. She had to win every race all day but in doing so she jumped from 5th in the overalls up to 1st and took the overall title.
The last 2 races were the men’s finals. The small final was an interesting line up. Derbier in 1, Beaumont in 2, Lucas Mechura in 3 and Mirco Weiss in 4. The gate dropped and it was Beaumont with the holeshot. He led the race from start to finish and took the win ahead of Derbier, Weiss and Mechura. It was a fast race and the perfect set up for the main final.
The last race of the day was the men’s final. In gate 1 it was Hannes Slavik, 2, Michal Mechura, 3 Waldburger and on the outside Mysik. The gate dropped and Mechura got to turn 1 in the lead. Slavik slotted into 2nd and tracked Mechura all the way to the final turn where he made his move. Slavik dived inside and grabbed the lead. Mechura then slid a little and the door opened to Waldburger. On the last straight Waldburger closed and closed. At the finish it was a photo finish, but Hannes Slavik took the win ahead of Waldburger, Mechura and Mysik.
The win in the small final was enough for Scott ‘Boom Boom’ Beaumont to take the 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series overall title. Some great riding from him all year and consistency in the Euro Series were enough to give him the overall title. Congratulations from everyone in the Euro 4X Series.
Men’s Results – Round 3 – Leibstadt, Switzerland
1st – Hannes Slavik
2nd – Simon Waldburger
3rd – Michal Mechura
4th – Milan Mysik
5th – Scott Beaumont
Women’s Results – Round 3 – Leibstadt, Switzerland
1st – Anna Borschig
2nd – Jessica Schulmbach
3rd – Denise Wiesner
4th – Tanja Hendrysiak
5th – Julia Lackus
Men’s Results – 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series – Overall
1st – Scott Beaumont (GBR)
2nd – Tomas Slavik (CZE)
3rd – Hannes Slavik (AUT)
4th – Felix Beckeman (SWE)
5th – Milan Mysik (CZE)
Women’s Results - 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series – Overall
1st – Anna Borschig (GER)
2nd – Katy Curd (GBR)
3rd – Helene Fruhwirth (AUT)
4th – Tanja Hendrysiak (GER)
5th – Jessica Schmulbach (GER)
So that’s it for another year. A huge thanks go out to Schwalbe for the continued support of the Euro 4X Series. The venues – Winterberg, Harthill and Leibstadt for putting on fantastic events at great 4X tracks. The fans for cheering and most of all, the riders for supporting the series and providing everyone with amazing racing.
The Schwalbe Euro 4X Series will be back again in 2014. Look out for details on the venues and dates which will be released soon.
Keep up to date with the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series on: www.euro4xseries.com