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UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2010

Date range:
September 1- 5, 2010

September 03, Elite men four cross: Mont-Sainte-Anne - Mont-Sainte-Anne

Slavik snatches four cross Worlds win from defending champion Graves

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
September 04, 2010, 4:40 BST,
Updated:
September 05, 2010, 5:44 BST

Prokop earns the bronze medal

Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic) leads Michal Prokop (Czech Republic)

Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic) leads Michal Prokop (Czech Republic)

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Czech's Tomas Slavik defeated last year's World Champion Jared Graves (Australia) for the gold medal in the men's four cross race on Friday night under lights at the mountain bike World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. Another Czech, Michal Prokop, finished third ahead of Roger Rinderknecht (Switzerland) in fourth.

Sixth place qualifier Slavik made a bold pass near the end of the final run to overtake Graves. It was an upset for the defending world champion and 2010 World Cup overall winner from Australia.

Slavik took the wide line and caught Graves by surprise just before the line. Graves hadn't realized there were any opportunities left for him to get passed though Slavik had used a similar trick in an earlier round with success.

"I feel like I"m in a dream and I'm trying to wake up. You don't get many chances in your life to be the winner of the worlds," said Slavik. "I saw him go to the inside and I saw him do the same. I did the same in the semis and got passed when Michal passed me. So I saw that as an opportunity."

"Of course, I regret that line choice. It's one of those things," said Graves. "That's what racing is all about. You have to be smart about things. I hadn't seen any passing going on, maybe I should have paid more attention. As we saw tonight, four cross isn't always about the start. Hopefully, I won't make that mistake again."

"It's very disappointing to lose it in the last corner," said Graves. "I trained so hard for this race, and my whole year was based around this race. Tomas rode a great race."

Slavik said he took each round one at a time. "My first goal was to get to the finals. In four cross, anything can happen. The most important thing was not to have a flat tire. My qualification wasn't so good, but this win makes it the best season ever."

Prokop knew something about flats. "I used my downhill tubes so I wouldn't get flats," said the bronze medallist. "I qualified 31st because I flatted both wheels."

Rinderknecht said after his fourth place that all had been going well until the finals, but then he had a slow start out of the gate. "The guys got away and I tried to catch up, but with these top guys in the final of the worlds, it's hard to pull a pass. I heard Slavik pulled it off though."

Full Results

Big Final
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic)    
2 Jared Graves (Australia)    
3 Michal Prokop (Czech Republic)    
4 Roger Rinderknecht (Switzerland)    
Small Final
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
5 Joost Wichman (Netherlands)    
6 Johannes Fischbach (Germany)    
7 Barry Nobles (United States Of America)    
8 Filip Polc (Slovakia)    
1/4 Finals
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
9 Romain Saladini (France)    
10 Nico Seidel (Germany)    
11 Felix Beckeman (Sweden)    
12 Kamil Tatarkovic (Czech Republic)    
13 Blake Carney (United States Of America)    
14 Jurg Meijer (Netherlands)    
15 Randal Huntington (Australia)    
16 Scott Beaumont (Great Britain)    
1/8 Finals
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
17 Daniel Franks (New Zealand)    
18 David Habicht (Australia)    
19 Matt Zdriluk (Canada)    
20 Erik Nelson (United States Of America)    
21 Camilo Andres Sanchez Paez (Colombia)    
22 Michal Marosi (Czech Republic)    
23 Matej Stapic (Slovenia)    
24 Jakub Riha (Czech Republic)    
25 Aurélien Giordanengo (France)    
26 Hannes Slavik (Austria)    
27 David Graf (Switzerland)    
28 Petr Muhlhans (Czech Republic)    
29 Kye Walstrom (Canada)    
30 Richard Levinson (Australia)    
31 Drew Pautler (Canada)    
32 Ross Milan (United States Of America)