Round seven of the men’s 4-Cross series of the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano at Bromont, Quebec in Canada could charitably be called a ‘crashfest’. Crashes and upsets featured in every heat, and the World Cup leader went out in the first round.
Joost Wichman of the Netherlands took his third win of the season and moved into second in the overall standings behind leader Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox).
“There were so many corners, and whoever was first into the first corner had a problem,” explained Wichman. “The best line was always the inside one, but that gave you problems in the next corner, so it was very difficult to ride it cleanly.
“In the final I heard the crash behind me, but I didn’t look back,” he added. “I just kept going because I wasn’t sure who was chasing me. I think this puts me in a pretty good position for second overall.”
For the men the top-seeded riders began to fall out of contention in the first round. World Cup leader Graves went out in the first round after crashing in the second corner. Number one qualifier Romain Saladini (Team Sunn) crashed out in the second round, as did Roger Rinderknecht (GT Bicycles), who was second in the World Cup rankings and world champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Specialized Factory Team). In the semi-finals it was the Czech rider Tomas Slavik who went down.
This left Wichman, Dan Atherton (Animal-Commencal), Czech rider Michal Prokop and a newcomer to 4-Cross, American Junior rider Mitch Ropelato, for the final. Wichman managed to get away early and miss the horrific crash that took down the other three riders, to coast in for the win. Ropelato was up first and took silver, while Atherton limped in for third ahead of Prokop. Both Atherton and Prokop were clearly injured, with the Atherton favouring his shoulder on the podium.
Graves has already mathematically won the World Cup title, and Wichman now holds a 115 point lead over Rinderknecht going into the final round in Schladming, Austria after the world championships.
|1||Joost Wichman (Ned)|
|2||Mitch Ropelato (USA)|
|3||Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal|
|4||Michal Prokop (Cze)|
|5||Quentin Derbier (Fra)|
|6||Tomas Slavik (Cze)|
|7||Michael Robert Haderer (USA)|
|8||Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK|
|9||Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spa) Specialized Factory Racing|
|10||Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team|
|11||John Swanguen (USA)|
|12||Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Kenda Morewood|
|13||Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn|
|14||Roger Rinderknecht (Swi) GT Bicycles|
|15||Blake Carney (USA)|
|16||Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team|
|17||Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team|
|18||Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing|
|19||Thomas Tokarczyk (USA)|
|20||Matt Zdriluk (Can)|
|21||Arthur Daley (USA)|
|22||Bernard Kerr (GBr)|
|23||Martin Frei (Swi)|
|24||Markus Sedlak (Aut)|
|25||Florian Gottschlich (Ger)|
|26||Erik Nelson (USA)|
|27||James Schwanke (USA)|
|28||Nicolas Gspan (Swi)|
|29||Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)|
|30||Hans Lambert (Can)|
|31||Luke Madill (Aus) GT Bicycles|
|32||Randal Huntington (Aus)|