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Beerten faces many challengers in women's contest
Anneke Beerten (Netherlands)
The third round of the 2012 4X ProTour will happen in Val di Sole, Italy, on Saturday, June 2. Racers will take on the longest track of the ProTour, with huge corners, plenty of passing and floodlights.
At the last round in Szczawno Zdroj, Poland, the weather played a huge part in the results, with more rain than has ever been seen at a four cross race. There was no change at the top of the podium though, as Tomas Slavik continued his absolute domination on the 2012 season with another win. In 2011 at the final World Cup four cross race in Val Di Sole, Slavik came from last in the final to win, so he goes into this weekend as the favourite to win.
His competition will include Lucas Mechura, who has shown some good consistency in 2012 and his brother Michael Mechura, who is in great shape after winning qualifying last week at the opening round of the Euro Four Cross series and finishing second in the finals. Kamil Tatarkovic, Jakub Riha, and Felix Beckeman will also be fighting for the win.
In the women's category, the racing has the potential for plenty of fireworks. Reigning world champion Anneke Beerten, will have her work cut out for her with the in form Katy Curd looking to continue on from her win at round 2 a few weeks ago.
However, there will be an influx of new women competing in the ProTour at Val Di Sole, any of which could go on to win this round. Melissa Buhl, Anita Molcik and Steffi Marth all have the speed and ability to win this round and will all be looking to kick start their ProTour campaigns in Italy. Celine Gros and Lucia Oetjens have also shown great speed all year as well so, predicting a winner in this women's race is a challenge.
Qualification will take place on Friday, June 1 with the finals on Saturday night, June 2. The racing will be held in conjunction with the UCI Downhill World Cup also happening this weekend in Val di Sole.