Rinderknecht and Beerten win gold in Leogang!
Drama in the mens final as Slavik and Graf collided straight out of the gate letting Rinderknecht and Mechura go for an easy one two.
Rinderknecht announced his retirement straight after taking the win!
Saalfelden Leogang, Austria, September 1st 2012 – Roger Rinderknecht and Anneke Beerten are the new Fourcross World Champions. In a very tight final with dry weather conditions, it was Swiss rider Rinderknecht in the Men’s Elite class who stepped onto the top of the podium, followed by Michael Mechura (CZE) and Tomas Slavik (CZE). David Graf (SUI) finished fourth after a crash. Anneke Beerten from Netherlands can now call herself double world champion. She finished in front of her rivals Romana Labounkova (CZE), Céline Gros from France and Austrian rider Anita Molcik.
After yesterday’s rainy qualification run, today’s weather was almost conciliatory, although the course, designed by Guido Tschugg was still a bit wet and muddy. But most riders considered this as an extra challenge.
The course challenged the 50 male finalists in terms of condition and tactics, since they had to decide for each run which line to take in order to gain the most advantage. The top-line, was slightly more demanding than the bottom-line and caused a lot of riderssome difficulties. The highly anticipated final turned out to be dominated by Swiss and Czech riders: Graf/Rinderknecht (SUI) versus Slavik/Mechura (CZE). The Czech Republic, did not only provide the most finalists, but also the most prominent fan community – some 4,000 spectators came out in hope to see one of them on top of the podium. But Rinderknecht crossed their plans with a flawless performance: “I did not always get the perfect line, but somehow I managed to finish first. I am still in very good shape after the Olympics. And the luck, which I sometimes missed in the past years, was on my side today. I am really happy and looking forward to celebrate this title with my family now.”
The fastest from the qualifying, David Graf (SUI) was quite unlucky and finished only fourth after a crash involving Tomas Slavik (CZE). Slavik managed to finish in third, since he was able to get back on his bike quicker than Graf.
In the first semi-final, Rinderknecht beat Benedikt Last from Germany and Lukas Mechura (CZE), in the other semi-final Lukas Mechura (Michael’s brother) and Tomas Slavik defeated 2011 World Champ Michal Prokop (CZE) and Graeme Mudd from Australia. So in the small final it was Prokop, Lukas Mechura, Mudd and Last (finished in that order).
Here are the results of the Men Elite 4X final:
Rinderknecht, Roger (SUI)
Mechura, Michael, (CZE)
Slavik, Tomas (CZE)
Graf, David (SUI)
Prokop, Michal (CZE)
Mechura, Lukas (CZE)
Mudd, Graeme (AUS)
Last, Benedikt (GER)
In the Women Elite class, Netherland’s 4X-queen Anneke Beerten took her great form from the qualification run into the final and finished superior in her final race against Romana Labounkova (CZE), Céline Gros (FRA) and Austrian rider Anita Molcik. Austria’s medal hopes died after a crash on the rock-section. Beerten commented her performance as follows: “In the final I was quite nervous, since I couldn’t start in the best gate. Moreover the pressure as title defender is high. But in the end it was a great run, I found a good line. The atmosphere here in Leogang is great, the people along the track are very loud and cheering hard. This was for sure a big motivation factor!”
Here are the results of theWomen Elite 4X final:
Beerten, Anneke (NED)
Labounkova, Romana (CZE)
Gros Céline (FRA)
Molcik, Anita (AUT)
Oertjen, Lucia (SUI)
Buhl, Melissa (USA)
Marth, Steffi (GER)