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.

Women

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.

Men

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

 

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