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Graves extends lead with Ft. William win

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Top 4X team RSP 4 Cross Racing Team.

Top 4X team RSP 4 Cross Racing Team.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Overall leader Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox).

Overall leader Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox).

Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Michal Prokop.

Michal Prokop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jared Graves of Yeti-Fox winning the final.

Jared Graves of Yeti-Fox winning the final.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

There were no surprises in round three of the four cross Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William, Scotland, with Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) extending his frontrunner status.

Fort Bill was uncharacteristically warm and dry, making the course dusty and loose, and causing numerous washouts in the corners. The organizers also replaced a rock garden halfway down the course with extra turns, after rider complaints that it was too narrow. Despite the conditions, the top three qualifiers in both the men's field made it through to the finals.

In the first two rounds all the top seeds easily qualified for the quarter finals. Graves had a slight scare in his eighth-final, when his foot slipped off a pedal, but the world champion was already in the lead, and quickly regained control.

In the quarter final, Graves again had a scare, when he flatted late in the run, but managed to hold on for second, moving on to the semi final round. The first of the high seeds went out in this round, with Rinderknecht finishing third to Michal Prokop (Agang) and Tomas Slavik (RSP 4 Cross) in a race that could have quite easily been the final, while Guido Tschugg (Ghost ATG) and Dan Atherton (Commencal) both went out when they banged bars and Tschugg crashed.

Graves again shot to the front of his semi heat, while Prokop and Slavik tangled in the battle for the second slot/ Slavik got the worst of it, crashing out while Prokop moved on. In the other semi final, Joost Wichman (RSP 4 Cross) and Romain Saladini (Team Sunn Montgenevre) had an easy ride to the big final. Graves had another scare prior to the start of his semi, when he flatted in the truck on the way up to the start gate.

The final saw Graves once again shooting to the front out of the gate, closely followed by Prokop, who managed to squeeze in ahead of Wichman before the first corner. However, Wichman fought back, with an incredible inside pass on the third corner to take the second spot behind a disappearing Graves. Graves easily held on for the win, while Wichman managed to hold off Prokop for second. Czech rider Kamil Tartarkovic won the small final for fifth.

"The corners were getting bad," admitted Graves, "so I was pretty much worried the whole way down. I'm so happy to get the win; it was a sketchy start [to the final]. I was banging elbows with Joost, and I thought we might both go down. He certainly kept me honest today."

Graves now has a commanding lead over second place Wichman, with 350 points to 225. Slavik sits third at 150 points.

Big Final
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
2Joost Wichman (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
3Michal Prokop (Cze) Agang Racing
4Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre

Small Final
#Rider Name (Country) Team
5Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)
6Tomas Slavik (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
7Lukas Mechura (Cze)
8Jurg Meijer (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team

1/4 Finals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
9Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)
10Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal
11Cédric Gracia (Fra)
12David Habicht (Aus)
13David Graf (Sui)
14Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
15Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk
16Quentin Derbier (Fra)

1/8 Finals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
17Adam Stasek (Cze)
18Petr Muhlhans (Cze)
19Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team
20Jarrod Jakubiak (USA)
21Stepan Novotny (Cze)
22Brook Macdonald (Nzl) MS Evil Racing
23William Evans (GBr)
24Richard Cunynghame (GBr)
25Lewis Lacey (GBr)
26Petrik Brückner (Ger)
27Blake Carney (USA)
28Edoardo Franco (Ita) Kenda-Playbiker
29Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team
30Peter Warner (GBr)
31Stefan Scherz (Ger)
32Richard Norton (GBr)

1/16 Finals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
33Scott Roberts (GBr)
34Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)
35Premek Tejchman (Cze)
36Richard Levinson (Aus)
37Mark Milward (GBr)
38Basil Weber (Sui)
39Kieran Mcavoy (GBr)
40Felix Beckeman (Swe)
41Ghislain Ricci (Fra)
42Tom Dowie (GBr)
43James Norton (GBr)
44Aiko Göhler (Ger)
45Nathan Parsons (GBr)
46Dale Russell (GBr)
47Mirco Weiss (Sui) Scott 11
48Adrian Weiss (Sui) Scott 11
49Will Longden (GBr)
50Tom Knight (GBr)
51Duncan Ferris (GBr)
52Graeme Mudd (Aus)
53Michael Gray (GBr)
54Rick Schubert (Ger)
55Ludovic Gadois (Fra)
56Werner Muther (Sui) Thoemus Racing Team
57Richard Lane (GBr)
58Kai Wendschuh (Ger)
59John Hewitt (GBr)
60Daniele Cosseta (Ita)
61Max Lenthall (GBr)
62Aj Boardman (GBr)
63Gareth Parr (GBr)

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RSP 4 Cross Racing Team71pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team40
3Agang Racing30
4Team Sunn Montgenevre26
5Suspension Center20
6Thoemus Racing Team15
7Commencal12
8Norco World Team10
9Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team7
10Rocky Mountain UK6

Individual World Cup Standings after round 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team350pts
2Joost Wichman (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team225
3Tomas Slavik (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team200
4Michal Prokop (Cze) Agang Racing150
5Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team131
6Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)114
7Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)80
8Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal67
9Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre60
10Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team55
11Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team46
12Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain Uk44
13David Graf (Sui)33
14Lukas Mechura (Cze)30
15Jurg Meijer (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team25
16Mickael Deldycke (Fra)20
17Premek Tejchman (Cze)17
18Sidney Gerber (Sui)17
19Cédric Gracia (Fra)14
20William Evans (GBr)14
21David Habicht (Aus)11
22Felix Beckeman (Swe)11
23Clément Doby (Fra)11
24Reto Schmid (Sui)8
25Petr Muhlhans (Cze)8
26Hannes Slavik (Aut) RC Alpine Commencal Austria8
27Jan Novak (Cze)6
28Quentin Derbier (Fra)2
29Daniel Fülle (Ger)2
30Marek Pesko (Svk)2

Team World Cup standings after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RSP 4 Cross Racing Team231pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team115
3Suspension Center95
4Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team61
5Agang Racing60
6Norco World Team50
7Commencal44
8Team Sunn Montgenevre26
9Rocky Mountain UK26
10Thoemus Racing Team18
11RC Alpine Commencal Austria12
122Stage Factory5

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