Wichman beats USA's Ropelato to win

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.

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1Joost Wichman (Ned)
2Mitch Ropelato (USA)
3Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal
4Michal Prokop (Cze)
5Quentin Derbier (Fra)
6Tomas Slavik (Cze)
7Michael Robert Haderer (USA)
8Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK
9Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spa) Specialized Factory Racing
10Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
11John Swanguen (USA)
12Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Kenda Morewood
13Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn
14Roger Rinderknecht (Swi) GT Bicycles
15Blake Carney (USA)
16Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
17Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
18Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing
19Thomas Tokarczyk (USA)
20Matt Zdriluk (Can)
21Arthur Daley (USA)
22Bernard Kerr (GBr)
23Martin Frei (Swi)
24Markus Sedlak (Aut)
25Florian Gottschlich (Ger)
26Erik Nelson (USA)
27James Schwanke (USA)
28Nicolas Gspan (Swi)
29Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)
30Hans Lambert (Can)
31Luke Madill (Aus) GT Bicycles
32Randal Huntington (Aus)


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