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Graves grabs another in style

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Mens 4X podium (l tor ) Joost Wichman RSP (4th), Tomas Slavik RSP (2nd), Jared Graves of Yeti-Fox (1st), Michal Marosi RSP (3rd), Jakub Riha (5th)

Mens 4X podium (l tor ) Joost Wichman RSP (4th), Tomas Slavik RSP (2nd), Jared Graves of Yeti-Fox (1st), Michal Marosi RSP (3rd), Jakub Riha (5th)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Riders stop to admire the view

Riders stop to admire the view
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The view everyone else had of Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox)

The view everyone else had of Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Joost Wichman (RSP 4X Racing Team)

Joost Wichman (RSP 4X Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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There were pile ups a-plenty here - Dan Atherton (4) of Commencal going down in 1/8 final heat

There were pile ups a-plenty here - Dan Atherton (4) of Commencal going down in 1/8 final heat
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Cold temperatures and rain did not dampen the competition at the fourth round of the four cross  Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria. Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) took his third win of the season to extend his lead in the men's series.

The men's competition came down to avoiding crashing, as top riders went out every round after slipping and sliding in the muddy conditions. The track became more and more torn up by successive heats of racing.

Former World Champion Michal Prokop (Agang Racing) won the qualifying, two-tenths of a second ahead of Graves, with Swiss rider David Graf at six-tenths back. Dan Atherton (Commencal) and Joost Wichman (RSP 4 Cross) were less than a second off the best time.

In the 1/8 final heats, Atherton and Dutch rider Roger Rinderknecht both crashed out of competition, followed by Prokop in the quarter finals. Prokop's crash was possibly the most spectacular of the night, as he flew through the air like a rag doll after hitting a jump wrong. Fortunately, he was able to walk away from the crash.

Less fortunate was Graf in the semi-finals.  He put a foot wrong, twisting it and dislocating it badly. Competition was delayed while he was airlifted to hospital. Wichman and his teammate Tomas Slavik won that semi-final, while Graves and round two winner Michal Marosi (RSP 4 Cross) advanced through to the final in the other semi.

Marosi had won the second round at Maribor in similar wet and muddy conditions.

The final was Graves versus three riders from RSP 4 Cross: Wichman, Slavik and Marosi. Graves got out in front immediately with his usual fast gate, and maintained control all the way to the finish line.

Wichman was closing a couple times, but made some bad line choices and nearly took out his teammates - an aggressive ride, but not in control. It hurt him in the end, as he finished fourth behind Slavik and Marosi.

"I knew things were gonna get crazy," said Graves. "Those RSP guys, they gang up on me. It's wild racing in the mud."

"It's always a ton of fun. Anything can happen, so I had a great time today. I think this [type of course] is what we need more of. I loved it from the first time I saw it. Big lines, big gaps; you can really make some time."

Graves' third win now puts him 175 points ahead of Slavik in the World Cup series, with Wichman 190 points back. These two riders have a slim mathematical chance of catching Graves for the World Cup title, but the odds are that Graves has already wrapped up the 2010 title.

Full Results

Men Final 1-4
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
2Tomas Slavik (Cze) Rsp 4 Cross Racing Team
3Michal Marosi (Cze) Rsp 4 Cross Racing Team
4Joost Wichman (Ned) Rsp 4 Cross Racing Team

Men Final 5-8
#Rider Name (Country) Team
5Jakub Riha (Cze)
6Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre
7Filip Polc (Svk) Ms Evil Racing
8David Graf (Swi)

Men Quarterfinals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
9Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)
10Quentin Derbier (Fra)
11Cédric Gracia (Fra)
12Tom Dowie (GBr)
13Michal Prokop (Cze) Agang Racing
14Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team
15Jakub Hnidak (Cze)
16Richard Levinson (Aus)

Men 1/8 Finals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
17Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal
18Adam Stasek (Cze)
19Jurg Meijer (Ned) Rsp 4 Cross Racing Team
20Sidney Gerber (Sui)
21Jules Grimaldi (Fra)
22Adrian Kiener (Sui)
23Roger Rinderknecht (Sui)
24Andreas Dotzauer (Ger)
25Lukas Mechura (Cze)
26Hannes Slavik (Aut) Rc Alpine Commencal Austria
27Petr Muhlhans (Cze)
28Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)
29David Habicht (Aus)
30Scott Roberts (GBr)
31Ghislain Ricci (Fra)
32Simon Waldburger (Swi)

Men 1/16 Finals
#Rider Name (Country) Team
33William Evans (GBr)
34Giacomo Fantoni (Ita)
35Stepan Novotny (Cze)
36Matej Stapic (Slo)
37Nico Seidel (Ger)
38Bartosz Giemza (Pol)
39Stefan Scherz (Ger)
40Lukasz Baran (Pol)
41Basil Weber (Swi)
42Kristjan Medvescek (Slo)
43Piotr Paradowski (Pol)
44Thomas Krainer (Aut)
45Kai Wendschuh (Ger)
46Mariusz Jarek (Pol)
47Mirco Weiss (Swi) Scott 11
48Fabian Kuttel (Swi)
49Robert Kulesza (Pol)
50Felix Beckeman (Swe)
51Stefan Kiser (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
52Arne Tschugg (Ger)
53Benjamin Kistner (Swi)
54Tomas Brozik (Cze)
55Jakub Pytlik (Cze)
56Robert Simecek (Cze)
57Johnny Magis (Bel)
58Daniel Fülle (Ger)
59Gabor Vigh-Kiss (Hun)
60Werner Muther (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
61Mitch Ropelato (USA) Ex Drinks
62Martin Söderström (Swe)
63Peter Prajczer (Hun)
64Premek Tejchman (Cze)

Men's teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RSP 4 Cross Racing Team91pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team40
3Suspension Center40
4Norco World Team20
5Team Sunn Montgenevre20
6MS Evil Racing18
7Agang Racing8
8Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team7
9Unior Tools Team3

Men individual World Cup standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team475pts
2Tomas Slavik (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team300
3Joost Wichman (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team285
4Michal Marosi (Cze) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team206
5Michal Prokop (Cze) Agang Racing158
6Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)134
7Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre100
8Roger Rinderknecht (Swi)80
9Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal67
10Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team61
11David Graf (Swi)58
12Jakub Riha (Cze)50
13Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team46
14Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK44
15Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing30
16Lukas Mechura (Cze)30
17Cédric Gracia (Fra)28
18Jurg Meijer (Ned) RSP 4 Cross Racing Team25
19Mickael Deldycke (Fra)20
20Quentin Derbier (Fra)19
21Premek Tejchman (Cze)17
22Sidney Gerber (Swi)17
23William Evans (GBr)14
24Tom Dowie (GBr)11
25David Habicht (Aus)11
26Felix Beckeman (Swe)11
27Clément Doby (Fra)11
28Reto Schmid (Swi)8
29Petr Muhlhans (Cze)8
30Hannes Slavik (Aut) RC Alpine Commencal Austria8
31Luka Novak (Slo)6
32Jakub Hnidak (Cze)4
33Richard Levinson (Aus)2
34Daniel Fülle (Ger)2
35Marek Pesko (Svk)2

Men's team World Cup standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RSP 4 Cross Racing Team322pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team155
3Suspension Center135
4Norco World Team70
5Agang Racing68
6Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team68
7Team Sunn Montgenevre46
8Commencal44
9Rocky Mountain UK26
10Thoemus Racing Team18
11MS Evil Racing18
12RC Alpine Commencal Austria12
132Stage Factory5
14Unior Tools Team3

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