Slavik wins Houffalize four cross

Beerten takes women's victory

Round 1 of the 4X ProTour in Belgium is over, and what a start to the new four cross tour it was. Thousands of people lined the track in Houffalize to watch and cheer the action.

Fastest qualifier Jakub Riha could not continue his great start to the 4X ProTour, as he crashed out in the first semi final. Aiko Gohler from Germany, 21st in qualifying, moved onto the final with Lucas Mechura. In the second semi-final, Joost Wichman raced level with Tomas Slavik on the first straight, but went a little wide in turn one, leaving the door open for Joey Van Veghel, the Dutch rider who has not raced four cross in three years. In the move of the night, JVV swooped past Wichman and booked his place in the final. After qualifying in 30th, he proved that, in four cross, nothing is predictable.

In the women's final, Anneke Beerten, Celine Gros, Katy Curd and Lucia Oetjen lined up for the first ever 4X ProTour final. World Champion Beerten got the snap and led into turn one. Gros was in second and Curd dived inside going for second, but just could not get through. Beerten rode a flawless run and deservedly took the first win of 2012. Gros was second ahead of Kurd and Oetjen.

"What a night... [I] won the first round of the @4xprotour in Houffalize! Crowed was amazing, enjoyed ever single second of it!" said Beerten after her win.

Onto the men's final. Slavik, Mechura, Gohler and JVV lined up ready for the gate to drop. Slavik got the jump and raced Mechura on the first straight bar to bar. Slavik on the inside had the advantage and took the lead. Mechura was on him the whole lap, hounding his every move but just could not get by. Crossing the line, Slavik took the win at round 1 from Mechura and, rider of the night, Joey Van Veghel in third.

"I'm stoked with my win at first race of 4X Pro Tour,' said Slavik. "You know it's a new beginning of the world series in four cross, and it's always good to win historical first race. I'm satisfied with my performance tonight, I went smooth on track, had good gates, didn't do any mistakes... just everything went as it should go every race."

"And in general the race was awesome. There was a massive crowd cheering, good organisation, nice track and it was just a big show. I enjoyed every single second on the track. Can't wait for another race of the series in Poland."

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tomas Slavik (Cze)  
2Lukas Mechura (Cze)  
3Joey Van Veghel (Ned)  
4Aiko Göhler (Ger)  
5Joost Wichman (Ned)  
6Michael Mechura (Cze)  
7Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)  
8Jakub Riha (Cze)  
9Felix Beckeman (Swe)  
10Nico Vink (Bel)  
11Petrik Brückner (Ger)  
12Jakub Hnidak (Cze)  
13Scott Beaumont (GBr)  
14Johnny Magis (Bel)  
15Nathan Parsons (GBr)  
16Premek Tejchman (Cze)  
17Daniel Prijkel (Ned)  
18Leo Combee (Ned)  
19Marek Pesko (Svk)  
20David Roberts (GBr)  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anneke Beerten (Ned)  
2Céline Gros (Fra)  
3Katy Curd (GBr)  
4Lucia Oetjen (Swi)  
5Emily Horridge (GBr)  
6Suzanne Lacey (GBr)  
7Anna Börschig (Ger)  
8Tereza Votavova (Cze)  
9Jessica Greaves (GBr)  
10Lea Schleifenbaum (Ger)  
11Verena Schacher (Ger)  


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