Beerten and Rinderknecht win four cross Worlds

First titles awarded in Austria

The 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria, awarded its first titles on Saturday evening, with Anneke Beerten of the Netherlands taking the second rainbow jersey of her career. Switzerland's Roger Rinderknecht won his first world title in the final race of his career on Saturday, in the men's four cross.

Women

Beerten came into the eight-rider women's race the favourite, and did not disappoint. After qualifying first, the Dutch rider won her semi-final to get into the championship race, and was joined by Romana Labounkova (Czech Republic), Celine Gros (France) and local Austrian favourite Anita Molcik.

Beerten got out of the gate fast and led Labounkova by the first corner. The Czech rider tried to stay in contact, but by the end of the second straight, Beerten was clear and on her way to her second four cross title. Labounkova held on for silver, with Gros taking bronze.

Words cannot describe how I feel," said Beerten. "It is unbelievable. It started out as such a hard race, I didn't have the gate that I wanted, and I pulled it off in the first corner. I just thought to myself, 'Don't brake, just go' and that's what I did. It seemed to work. I am so happy."

Men

Switzerland's Roger Rinderknecht won his first world title in the men's four cross.

The crowd favourite four cross event did not disappoint the thousands of fans who lined the course. It was clear early on that the men's race was between the Swiss and the Czech riders. The two nations split the top four spots in qualifying and dominated the heats on the way to the final. Rinderknecht was joined by countryman David Graf for the final, with Czech teammates Tomas Slavik and Michael Mechura taking the other two spots.

On paper, it should have been Graf who won, after qualifying first and winning every one of his heats; including beating Rinderknecht in the semi-final. However, Graf tangled with Slavik just after the start gate, when the Czech rider moved out of his lane, causing both riders to crash. Rinderknecht took the lead from Mechura out of the first corner, fought off an attack after the second corner and then rode clear to take the title. Mechura took silver, with Slavik the first to get up from the crash and grabbed bronze.

"This is the last race I am ever going to do in my career, so I really wanted it to be a special night," said Rinderknecht. "I felt good all night. Didn't have the best legs ever, but I felt it was coming together. It worked out on the end. The other two guys unfortunately came together on the first straight, so it wasn't the battle to the line, but nevertheless I am extremely happy."

"I really cannot believe it. I really did not expect to do that good in the beginning. I knew I was in good shape, but I wasn't sure what to expect from my bike handling point of view. But I felt comfortable right away from the first practice, so I knew if everything went perfect it could be my night."

Full Results

Elite men four cross
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Roger Rinderknecht (Switzerland)  
2Michael Mechura (Czech Republic)  
3Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic)  
4David Graf (Switzerland)  
5Michal Prokop (Czech Republic)  
6Lukas Mechura (Czech Republic)  
7Graeme Mudd (Australia)  
8Benedikt Last (Germany)  
9Scott Beaumont (Great Britain)  
10Kamil Tatarkovic (Czech Republic)  
11Hannes Slavik (Austria)  
12Jakub Hnidak (Czech Republic)  
13Quentin Derbier (France)  
14Johnny Magis (Belgium)  
15Aiko Göhler (Germany)  
16Joost Wichman (Netherlands)  
17Marek Pesko (Slovakia)  
18Blake Carney (United States Of America)  
19Mirco Weiss (Switzerland)  
20Matija Stupar (Slovenia)  
21Klaus Beige (Germany)  
22Sylvain Andre (France)  
23Matthieu Faury (France)  
24Gustaw Dadela (Poland)  
25Premek Tejchman (Czech Republic)  
26Adrian Weiss (Switzerland)  
27Jakub Riha (Czech Republic)  
28Benjamin Kistner (Switzerland)  
29Damien Godet (France)  
30Stefan Scherz (Germany)  
31Maciej Chmiel (Poland)  
32Nikita Efremov (Russian Federation)  
33Simon Waldburger (Switzerland)  
34Kristijan Medvescek (Slovenia)  
35Piotr Paradowski (Poland)  
36Urban Rotnik (Slovenia)  
37Matej Stapic (Slovenia)  
38Remek Oleszkiewicz (Poland)  
39Mariusz Jarek (Poland)  
40Ludovic Gadois (France)  
41Roland Bagoly (Hungary)  
42Norbert Papp (Hungary)  
43Jani Fucka (Slovenia)  
44Attila Kovacs (Hungary)  
45Tamas Tarr (Hungary)  
46Robert Kulesza (Poland)  
47Felipe Zanette (Brazil)  
48Petrik Brückner (Germany)  
49Hakan Yildirim (Turkey)  
NCBlake Nielsen (Australia)  
Elite women four cross
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anneke Beerten (Netherlands)  
2Romana Labounkova (Czech Republic)  
3Céline Gros (France)  
4Anita Molcik (Austria)  
5Lucia Oetjen (Switzerland)  
6Melissa Buhl (United States Of America)  
7Steffi Marth (Germany)  
NCLuana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Brazil)  

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