Buhl takes 4X ProTour win in Fort William

Prokop victorious in men's race

Racing in round 4 of the 4X Pro Tour did not disappoint in Fort William, Scotland on Saturday night. Melissa Buhl and Michal Prokop won the finals in front of a huge crowd.


In the women's race, current World Champion Anneke Beerten qualified the fastest and was looking fast on the track all weekend. Current series points leader Katy Curd, had a tough qualifier, finishing fourth, giving away vital points towards her overall title chase.

The surprise came in the semi-finals as Curd crashed in the first corner, trapping her foot between the floor and her bike and her shoe actually flew off into the crowd. It was a tough break for her, but she went onto win the small final and salvage fifth overall for the night.

In the main final, Beerten took gate 1, Celine Gros was on 2, Melissa Buhl in 3 and British rider Suzanne Lacey was in 4. The crowd was looking for a home win and the atmosphere was wild for Lacey.

As the gate dropped, it was World Champion Beerten who took the hole shot closely followed by Buhl. On the second straight the loose, rocky track took hold and Beerten's rear tyre exploded. Buhl swooped through, and took the lead. Beerten was holding on but the tyre came off the rim, and Gros came past followed by Lacey.

Across the finish, it was an awesome ride by Buhl to take the win and show the world that she is still a real force in women's four cross racing. Gros was second and Lacey was third while Beerten limped across the finish in fourth.

Heading into the final round, Gros is leading the points, but it is tight and three riders could still take the overall - with Beerten and Curd close behind.


In the men's race, the home crowd was going just as wild. Scott Beaumont and Issac Mundy made their way to the semi-finals and were looking to book their place in the finals.

In semi-final 1, Tomas Slavik, Michal Prokop, Quentin Derbier and Mundy were on the gate. As the beeps went and the guys snapped out of the gate, Slavik made a perfect start and led the race. Prokop in second was under pressure from Derbier, but he held on to take second and book his place in the final with Slavik.

In the second semi-final, Joost Wichman took 1, Patrik Bruckner was in 2, Beaumont in 3 and Jakub Riha was in 4. As the gate dropped, all four riders were level and in a clash of handlebars between Bruckner, Beaumont and Riha, Boom Boom found himself on the ground and out of the race. Wichman led the race with no problems, but the battle for second was still going on in the rock garden as Bruckner and Riha came together again, this time, Riha went down which allowed the two Rose Vaujany riders to transfer to the final.

In the small final, Derbier made a strong start and was followed by Beaumont. On the final straight, Boom Boom lined him up and charged for the finish line. In a photo finish, Derbier got the win to give him fifth overall on the night followed by Beaumont, Riha and Mundy.

So finally it was the men's main final. Slavik was on gate 1, Wichman took 2, Prokop on 3 and Bruckner was in 4. Slavik got the snap and looked like he was leading, but over the technical first straight, Prokop showed why he is the current world champion as he got an amazing drive and took the lead into turn 1.

Slavik was close, and after the big double he dived inside to try and take the lead. Unfortunately, he hit a flag and in one of the most sportsman like gestures seen at a gravity mountain bike race, Slavik pulled of the track with his hands up and allowed the other riders to go past him before the finish. Wichman and teammate Bruckner were battling for second. Bruckner finished in a career best second place ahead of team manager Wichman with Slavik in fourth.

This result gives Slavik the 2012 men's overall 4X ProTour title.

"I'm really stoked with taking overall title in 4X ProTour. It was my goal for the season and it worked out. And the way I took the title? Wow man, it was awesome, couldn't be any better," said Slavik. "I'm a little bit sad about Fort William, where I lost win while leading, because of my own mistake. On the other hand I'm in really good shape and I can't wait for Willingen next week. I will really enjoy that race."

There is no rest for the 4X ProTour as all the riders are now packing their bikes and heading to Germany for the final round next week at Willingen. In the women's contest, it is all still to play for and in the men's, the final podium positions are still to be settled.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Michal Prokop (Cze) Specialized Racing    
2 Petnik Bruckner (Ger)    
3 Joost Wichman (Ned)    
4 Tomas Slavik (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Team    
6 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Yeti Racing Uk    
7 Jakub Riha (Cze) Galaxy Cyclosvek    
8 Isaac Munday (GBr) Slam 69    
9 Michael Mechura (Cze) Chainreaction Cycles    
11 Tom Dowie (GBr) Identiti Bikes    
12 Lewis Lacey (GBr)    
13 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Commencal FDF Team    
14 Felix Beckeman (Swe) Trek Sweden Racing/Fox Head    
15 Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Team    
16 Benedikt Last (Ger) RV Gomaringen / Propain Factoty Team    
17 Lucas Mechura (Cze) Chainreaction Cycles    
18 Jakub Hnidak (Cze) SR Suntour    
20 Johnny Magis (Bel) Yeti Bénélux Racing Team    
21 Adrian Weiss (Swi) BMX Power    
22 Andrej Bratina (Slo) CRN Trn Team/Cult    
23 Simon Parsons (GBr)    
24 Francesco Petrucci (Ita) Cingolani Racing    
25 Adam Stasek (Cze) Ghost Factory Racing    
26 Marek Peško (Svk) Polygon Rann    
27 Premek Tejchman (Cze) Commencal O'neil    
28 Benjamin Kistner (Swi) Kali Protectives/ SR Suntour    
29 Daniel Bateson (GBr) Team Identiti    
30 Duncan Ferris (GBr) DMR Bikes    
31 Ludovic Gadois (Fra) SR Suntour/Us Probikes    
32 Joe Mallinson (GBr) 44-Racing    
33 Alexander Metcalfe (GBr) Slam 69    
34 Mirko Weiss (Swi) BMX Power    
35 Jack Hall (GBr) BMXtrackconstruction.Co.Uk    
36 Mark Milward (GBr) Swinnerton Cycles    
37 Tom Gethin (GBr) Team Nakedracing    
38 Pete Warner (GBr) Trole Industries S2As    
39 Jordan Lunn (GBr) Team Identiti    
40 Luke Limbrick (GBr)    
41 Massimo Kienzler (Ger) Team Nox Factory    
42 Stefano Balestracci (Ita) Vigor Proline    
43 Mop Head (GBr)    
44 Luc Harris (GBr)    
45 Gavin Duke (GBr)    
46 Lee Feery (GBr) Urbanair    
47 Benjamin Ehrlich (Ger) Team Nox Factory    
48 Jamie Askew (GBr)    
49 Simon Cardon (Fra) Xcytt Racing    
50 Marco Ricci (Ita) Avis Cingolani Lbdesign    
51 Jamie Cuthill (GBr)    
52 Jack Hudson (GBr) 44-Racing    
53 David Jaquin (GBr) Mpora Factory Media    
54 Milan Mysik (Cze) MSK Kur Sport    
DNS Nathan Parsons (GBr)    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Melissa Buhl (USA) Khs/Oneal    
2 Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine-Avoriaz    
3 Suzanne Lacey (GBr) DMR Bikes    
4 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team    
5 Katy Curd (GBr) Rose Vaujany Gravity MTB Team    
6 Melanie Rugin (Fra)    
7 Tereza Votavova (Cze) Giant, Maloja    
8 Jessica Greaves (GBr)    


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