Season Recap, Bergamont European 4x Series 2016

Dec 1, 2016 at 5:46
Dec 1, 2016
by Florian Gärtner  
 
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The first turn in Leibstadt is well known for some overtaking action - Photographer Valentin Mueller
SEASON RECAP 2016
Bergamont European 4Cross Series

The Bergamont European 4x Series got its debut this year and covers the from the UCI banned discipline 4x as well as Dual Slalom. Grown through the fusion of the Swiss 4x Cup and the South German 4x Cup 10 races were held in three different countries for the first time. This is their Season Recap, enjoy!


Yanick Silvester Braun VGAS.team HOT-TRAIL RC Steffisburg dominates the elite category through all heats - Photograher Peter Hirzel hipSh0ts at softenvironment.ch
#1 HOMBERG (SUI)
Dual Slalom / 23. April 2016
Yanick Silvester Braun ( VGAS.team / HOT-TRAIL / RC Steffisburg) dominates the elite category through all heats.

It’s end of April and the weather is still cold and wet but riders were already enjoy the preparations for the first race of the Bergamont European 4x Series. It began with an easy but muddy dual eliminator race in Homberg, close to Thun (SUI). On the same weekend the organizers put in a Downhill race, which increased the starter field for the dual eliminator.

Crashes were visible on the muddy race track the whole weekend long - Photograher Peter Hirzel hipSh0ts at softenvironment.ch
Crashes were visible on the muddy race track the whole weekend long
About 80 riders found their way to the start on Saturday afternoon, even though the weather was really cold and wet. Qualification was all about getting to the finish line by riding not sliding to qualify with a decent time. The nice thing about the Bergamont European 4Cross Series is that all riders qualify for the finals and the heat table won’t be cut right after qualification. Therefore everyone got a shot if they mess up qualification. It definitely is more interesting for the youth and beginners.

5 p.m. and time for the finals, unfortunately it started to rain again. The riders used their balance and skills to finish in front of their opponents. As usual for dual eliminator races, the faster rider could choose the starting line.

In the Elite class one rider was dominating all day long. His name is Yanick Silvester Braun and after winning the qualification he was also able to win the final race against Fabian Küttel. Former Homberg double winner, Noel Niederberger won in the small final against downhiller, Pascal Reusser.


Some of the heats were quite tough on David Graf s local BMX track - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
#2 WINTERTHUR (SUI)
4Cross / 8. May 2016
Some of the heats were quite tough on David Graf's local BMX track

After two weeks of cleaning and preparing the bikes, the riders had to get ready for the next round. The second race of the series was held in Winterthur (SUI). The BMX track, owned by Powerbike Winterthur is the home track of David Graf. Of course, under these circumstances, there were also some BMX guys that built or organized themselves a 4 Cross bike.

Unfortunately, in the younger categories, the height and weight differences were shown to the spectators. Because of the long and flat track the strength difference played a big role on that day. Not so in the Elite classm though. At the end the podiums, places were decided between three local BMX guys. Marco Muff could repeat his strength from qualifying and could take the win right in front of Raphael Zgraggen and Yannick Uhr.
3 local BMX riders arrange under themselves - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
Three local BMX riders arranged the podium spots under themselves


Waldburger obviously likes the track - Photographer Rick Schubert
#3 REUTLINGEN (GER)
4Cross / 21. May 2016
Simon Waldburger obviously likes the track

The third stop of the series was held at the MTB-Festival Reutlingen, which was organized for the first time. The sunny and warm weather attracted some international riders like former world champ, Aiko Göhler or current world champion, Mitja Ergaver. Even though there was tough competition the local, Benedikt Last had to forfeit due to a disease and had to watch the race action from the sideline.


Kids like the track as well especially under sunny conditions totally reverse than last years race - Photographer Rick Schubert
Kids like the track as well especially under sunny conditions.
The first MTB Festival Reutlingen was a full success and will continue for sure next year - Photographer Rick Schubert
The first MTB Festival Reutlingen was a full success and will continue for sure next year

The spectators have a great overview on the track - Photographer Rick Schubert
The spectators have a great overview on the track
After Simon Waldburger won qualification the 4x rider had a little break. In that break the Slopestylers could practice a little on the track. After that, the finals began. To defeat the privilege of the locals and brothers Last, Sebastian Last gave it all and won in the category Hobby. Once more the final of the Elite Men brought some action with it. The swiss, Simon Waldburger from G-Form Swiss Team could enforce himself from the start to the finish line and won. Behind him there was a spectacular fight between Scherrer and Haug. Haug made a big mistake, took Scherrer with him, which allowed Göhler to go by. Unfortunately, Scherrer had some technical problems after that and couldn’t attack Göhler anymore and had to settle with third.


Open corners might lead to crashes under a slippery ground - Photographer J rgen Albrecht
#4 BERKHEIM (GER)
4Cross / 9. July 2016
Open corners might lead to crashes under a slippery ground

It’s summer, and the temperature rises over 30 degrees. Unfortunately for the riders, the 4th round of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series was held in Berkheim on one of those nice and hot days. Even though the track was simple and wide open there were some big names. Instead of a time in qualification, the organizers decided to do three qualification heats which already showed the riders how important that inside starting lane was.

Ingo Kaufmann leads the finals under hot conditions - Photographer J rgen Albrecht
Ingo Kaufmann leads the finals under hot conditions.
Already the youth categories fight some hard battles - Photographer J rgen Albrecht
Already the youth categories fight some hard battles.

The youth had a lot of fun on this easy track, because you can be fast even if you don’t have a lot of experience. You only had to be smart and choose the right tactic. To stay fit the 67 riders could feed themselves with cool drinks, steaks, sausages or some pasta from the kitchen. At the end of the day, Ingo Kaufmann could decide the race in his favor. Right behind him were Yannick Pfister, Ingo Schegk, and Tom Scherrer.


Waldburger and Slavik in a hard battle after the first turn - Photographer Christoph Vonmetz
#5 SARNTAL (ITA)
4Cross / 30. July 2016
Waldburger and Slavik in a hard battle after the first turn.

It’s halftime of the series. The 5th round was held in Südtirol in Sarntal, which organized a race in the European 4Cross Series for the first time. The day after race day they also held the Italian championship in 4Cross at the same place. Under the usual opponents and racers, one big gun showed up at the race. It was nobody less than the Czech MTB-Pro, Tomas Slavik, who also is a good friend of the organizer.

In qualification, Slavik showed his skills and could win with a huge advantage over the others. In the final first there was nothing to see of that advantage. Simon Waldburger could put himself into first position right after the start, followed by Slavik, Rotnik, and Evers. After the first turn Slavik put on his boost and rode by Waldburger. Slavik won at the end in front of Waldburger, Rotnik, and Evers. Followed by bad luck on this weekend the Italian riders had to ride with rain and the track turned into scads of mud.

Tomas Slavik leads qualifying by over a second advance - Photographer Christoph Vonmetz
Tomas Slavik leads qualifying by over a second advance.
High Low or Low High - what is the better option - Photographer Christoph Vonmetz
High Low or Low High - what is the better option?


Unique podium scenery on the Marbachegg - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
#6 MARBACHEGG (SUI)
Dual Slalom / 27./28. August 2016
Unique podium scenery on the Marbachegg

On the last weekend of August, the next round of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series was held in the Swiss Alps. In the wonderful Entlebuch on the Marbachegg it was time for some real cool old-school race stuff. It was a giant Dual Slalom on a grassland where top riders reached over 50 km/h. It wasn’t only a Dual Slalom race, the organizers dualed it up with a Grass Ski World Cup race what really was about speed and cutting these turns on grass.

On a sunny day with a difficult starting line once again there was one guy that showed everyone how it goes. Yannick Braun won the qualification on Saturday and showed that he can be fast on wet and dry soil. On Race day, he got a little bit coltish and risked too much and went down in the semifinal which meant small final for him. Yannick showed one more time why he won the qualification and one the small final against Ingo Kaufmann with the track record. In the big final the VC Leibstadt club mates, Roger Keller and Simon Waldburger raced for the win. Action was prescribed and both riders were preparing for the upcoming 4Cross World Championships and due to that on a top level. Simon was stronger on both sides of the track and could take the win. For all racers, it was an awesome event back to the roots.
The swiss world champs selection Keller amp Waldburger battle head to head after the gate on the grass dual slalom final - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
The swiss world champs selection (Keller & Waldburger) battle head to head after the gate on the grass dual slalom final.


A lot of action was guaranteed for the local crowd - Photographer Nadine Maier
#7 STEINWEILER (GER)
Dual Eliminator / 4. September 2016
A lot of action was guaranteed for the local crowd.

A week later, Ingo Kaufmann was on fire again. Then the next round of the Bergamont 4Cross Series was held on his Home track in Steinweiler (GER). The tight, slippery and dusty Dual Eliminator race was counting 74 riders even though it was at the same date as Eurobike. As guessed a lot of big names weren’t on the starting list because of the upcoming world Championship a week later.

Ingo Kaufmann secures his 2nd season victory on his home track in Steinweiler - Photographer Nadine Maier
Ingo Kaufmann secures his 2nd season victory on his home track in Steinweiler.
Two riders in the same turn - only allowed in a dual eliminator race - Photographer Nadine Maier
Two riders in the same turn - only allowed in a dual eliminator race.

As always the small town used the event opportunity to combine the race with their town fest and made it happen that a lot of spectators made it to the track. With some 'Oooh’s’ and 'Whaaatt?!’ the finals went through without any bigger crashes. At the end, Kaufmann took the home win in front of Jäckel and Pfister. The organizer was happy with the outcome and ensured us it would be part of the series in 2017 again.


Dual Slalom isn t 4Cross racing - At least both can include rock gardens - Photographer J rgen Albrecht
#8 WINNENDEN (GER)
Dual Slalom / 11. September 2016
Dual Slalom isn't 4Cross racing? - At least both can include rock gardens.

It’s World Champs weekend. None the less, the 8th round of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series was held in Winnenden (GER). The series also stands for the big encouragement of the youngest. Between the two races, there was a day off which Jonas Gauss used to travel back to Winnenden and race on his local track.

Jonas Gauss takes his first victory 2 days after the world championship race in Val di Sole on his local track - Photographer J rgen Albrecht
Jonas Gauss takes his first victory two days after the world championship race in Val di Sole on his local track.
The last changes on the track were made during the season and even put a rock garden into the almost legendary Dual Slalom. To get out of the sun and hot temperatures the 90 riders tried to cool down in the shadows.

The already known rider, Kaufmann was once again on a good run, unfortunately, he crashed in the semi-final. In the small final his opponent Mihaljevic lost by less than a tenth of a second and had to be satisfied with 4th. Local, Jonas Gauss competed at the end in the big final against Robin Bregger. Bregger crashed in the first run and couldn’t make it up in the second because Gauss set a new track record on that lap. At the end, it was Gauss in front of Bregger, and Kaufmann.


The track in Leibstadt offers a lot of overtaking possibilities - Photographer Valentin Mueller
#9 LEIBSTADT (SUI)
4Cross / 18. September 2016
The track in Leibstadt offers a lot of overtaking possibilities.

On September 18th, the second to last race of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series was held in Leibstadt at the MTB-Festival Leibstadt. Known for its good organization they stepped it up one more time with a livestream from the race with about 70 riders. Unfortunately, this time the weather wasn’t at its best and the track was sticky and tough.


In the afternoon, the finals began with light sunshine and the track started to dry. Even though the heats were packed with lots and tight passes just a few riders went over the ProLine. In addition to the wet and sticky track,, there was also a lot of headwind. At the end, Simon Waldburger dominated the day and won in front of Kaufmann and Evers. The organizer was happy and optimistic to do another livestream in 2017.

Jan Evers took already his second move-in into a big final - Photographer Valentin Mueller
Jan Evers took his second move-in into a big final.
Simon Waldburger strongly leads the big final in the Elite Men category on his home soil - Photographer Valentin Mueller
Simon Waldburger strongly leads the big final in the Elite Men category on his home soil.


Big Action for all categories in the second turn in Wolfach - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
#10 WOLFACH (GER)
4Cross / 2. Oktober 2016
Big Action for all categories in the second turn in Wolfach.

Season Final in Wolfach. On the first weekend of October, the last round of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series was held at the same time as the final round of 4X ProTour. Unfortunately, some big names couldn’t attend in Wolfach because of that. Simon Waldburger was one of them and the current leader of the overall hoping that Kaufmann wouldn’t finish second or better.


Over 110 riders like to battle the season final in the Black Forest track - Photograher Florian G rtner - Canonite.ch
Over 110 riders like to battle the season final in the Black Forest track.
With 110 riders, it was a proper last race of the Bergamont European 4Cross Series. The known first turn gave the spectators once more lots of action to watch and decided some heats. Even more action was made in the second turn where the passes could get a little rough from time to time. In the big final it was all or nothing for two riders. The local, Robin Bregger had the opportunity to win on this home track for the first time. On the other hand, Ingo Kaufmann had to finish second or better to win the overall. The spectators were excited and the gate dropped. All four riders were side by side until Pfister went down right in front of the first turn. Kaufmann rode smart and didn’t risk anything to finish in first place and was satisfied with second which brought him the overall win. Evers finished in third place.


At the end, it was a long and successful season for all of us. We want to thank all riders, organizations and sponsors for attending and supporting in our Series. Without you this all wouldn’t be able so we will step up the game next season. Stay tuned and ride safe over the winter.

4Cross is simply a great and fair mountainbike sport - Photographer Jens Staudt
4Cross is simply a great and fair mountain bike sport


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Words: Ingo Schegk


MENTIONS: @BergamontBicycles @The4XProTour @fourcross
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4 Comments

  • + 4
 UCI, BRING IT BACK EVERYWHERE!
  • + 2
 Awesome to see another series! Keep it up Smile
  • + 3
 Damn I've missed 4x!
  • + 2
 Didn't even know about this, it's awesome!

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