The gate drop for the final time on the 2011 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series in the beautiful village of Pec in Czech Republic on Saturday. At the end of the day, Adam Stasek had won the round while Tomas Slavik took the overall series.
Europe's top four cross riders were given sunshine all weekend and a tough track that was steep, rocky and challenging for all the riders. Throw into that mix 50-foot double jumps, 50-foot road gaps and a crazy crowd.
Practice, qualification and racing all took place on Saturday, giving the big crowds plenty of four cross action during the day. The World Cup regulars of Tomas Slavik, Joost Wichman, Adam Stasek, Kamil Tatarkovic, Scott Beaumont, Scott Roberts, Petr Muhlhans and Premek Tjechman were all looking fast in practice along with a few new riders who were trying to make their mark.
There was one huge casualty at the end of practice. Wichman, the series leader coming into the finals crashed hard on his final gate practice. His shoulder landed into a jump on the exit of the first turn and instantly it was obvious that he was out of the race. A dislocated shoulder and some other shoulder damage was the diagnosis. This threw the overall series on its head as his lead in the Championship looked under threat if Slavik or Beaumont had a good day.
Qualification started at 12. Stasek had looked fantastic in practice and it was no surprise to all present when he went fastest ahead of Tatarkovic and Slavik.
So the scene was set and the races were ready. In the first round, there were no real surprises as all the favourites moved forward to the quarter finals. Here we had the first casualty - Tatarkovic had elected to ride his six-inch travel freeride bike in the racing. Although his speed on the track was fantastic, his start was less than impressive on the big hitting bike. He found himself stuck in third in his quarter final and unfortunately went out to give him ninth overall on the day.
Another rider knocked out in the quarter finals was Milan Mysik, who was involved in the pass of the day. Heading down the track, he was safe in second behind Slavik and ahead of Roberts. It looked like that was how it was going to end as Roberts had not jumped the 50-foot double at the bottom of the track, but in an amazing, "back against the wall" moment, Roberts let off his brakes and jumped the double for the first time, grabbing second in that race and moving onto the semi finals. Mysik who was sat fourth in the overall points was out giving him 10th for the day.
Onto the semi finals. Stasek lined up against Jacub Riha, Marek Pesko and Beaumont. The first turn was tight with alot of bumping and banging. Stasek was out front and Beaumont hounded Riha all the way, but Riha crossed the line in second and moved onto the main final. In the second semi-final, it was Slavik, Zdenek Plasil, Adrian Weiss and Roberts. Slavik got the jump and led the race start to finish no problems. Second again was up in the air, but after several passes, Weiss put himself into his first final ever in the Euro Series and probably the best ride of his life.
So the small final was up first. Pesko led the race in the first turn, but Beaumont dived inside in turn 2 to take the lead. In a British train, Roberts followed him through and chased Boom Boom all the way. Crossing the line, Beaumont won giving him fifth from Roberts, Plasil and Pesko. This was enough to secure third overall for Beaumont who was clearly pleased at the finish line. Equally happy was Roberts who did enough to hold onto 5th overall, whatever happened in the main final.
Slavik had gone about his racing all day and not worried about the overall points. He wanted to win the race which he knew would give him the overall title. He took the lead from the start and was looking good until an uncharacteristic mistake saw him crash out of the race. Stasek took the lead from Riha who in the next turn tried a passing move, but also crashed out. Stasek from here had an easy win from Weiss. Riha got up first and took third from Slavik who at this point thought he had not done enough to take the overall series.
Once the maths were done, Slavik had done enough, taking the series from Wichman, Beaumont, Stasek and Roberts.
The 2012 Series is already starting to take shape.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Adam Stasek (Cze)|
|2||Adrian Weiss (Swi)|
|3||Jakub Riha (Cze)|
|4||Tomas Slavik (Cze)|
|5||Scott Beaumont (GBr)|
|6||Scott Roberts (GBr)|
|7||Zdenek Plašil (Cze)|
|8||Marek Pesko (Svk)|
|9||Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)|
|10||Milan Mysik (Cze)|
|11||Jakub Hnidak (Cze)|
|12||Jan Finda (Cze)|
|13||Petr Muhlhans (Cze)|
|14||Lukasz Baran (Pol)|
|15||Jiri Penc (Cze)|
|16||Mariusz Jarek (Pol)|
|17||Dave Richardson (GBr)|
|18||Jaroslav Faistaver (Cze)|
|19||Marco Ricci (Ita)|
|20||Petr Benes (Cze)|
|21||Bozan Mitkov (Cze)|
|22||Premek Tejchman (Cze)|