The rain held off for a thrilling night of 4x with Dan “Affy” Atherton taking the mens win and Aneeke Beerten scooping the womens race.
The track held up pretty well, with all the big lines open leading to a gripping night of racing. Read the round up below.4x Men Final.
1. Dan Atherton
2. Brian Lopes
3. Guido Tschugg
4. Rastislav Pirman
1. Anneke Beerten
2. Mio Suemasa
3. Fionn Griffiths
Well, the promised rains finally returned today, and depending on whether you’re here for 4X or downhill this either a bad or good thing. With the 4X track already suffering from the recent rainfall the last thing it needed was yet more of the wet stuff. For a while today it looked like the 4X might be a complete wash-out, there was serious talk about having to shut off the ‘big line’ for safety reasons, but luckily by the time it was race time the weather had improved enough not to get in the way of proceedings.
Before the 4X racing though it was yet more DH practice, and after everyone seemingly grumbling over the past few days that the track is technically lacking the rain seems to have for once improved the track. In most places it has just turned into one giant rut, but I think it’s going to be a good challenge to be the fastest rider down the hill come tomorrow. With it being so short there’s no room for error, and yet if it rains like it’s forecast to tomorrow then error will be lurking in pretty much every section of the track.
Anyway, as for today’s major proceedings; the 4X finals, this was both a little bit of a letdown and at the same time a cause for serious celebration. The reason it wasn’t so good was partly down to the weather and state of the track (which meant that the big jumps weren’t getting used as much as we’d all like to see), but the main problem was that the finish area had about as much atmosphere as a Tupperware party. The reason being that there was no screen to watch the action on and the last couple of corners were pretty dull compared with the rest of the track. It didn’t help that the commentator was only speaking in some language that very few of us seemed to understand. I know it might sound a little harsh, but I would also consider the women’s event a bit of a letdown, we just seem to be lacking any depth in talent. As suspected Anneke Beerten walked away with the big points.
In the men’s things were altogether more interesting; Saladini went out with a self-inflicted crash despite his recent run of top results, and then of course Cedric Gracia was entertaining his home crowd with that trademark style of his. Unfortunately Cedric didn’t quite make the final, but local company Commencal were still in with a shot at the title thanks to Dan Atherton who’d qualified second fastest yesterday and was looking on fire going into final. He was lined up against Lopes, Tschugg, and Rastislav Pirman, and after having poor gates at Maribor Dan’s training efforts seemed to be paying off as each and every time he lined up against Lopes he beat him to the first corner, and it was no different come finals time. Basically Dan rode a blinder the whole way down and there was no way that anyone else was going to take the victory, and to be fair I don’t think there could have been a more deserving winner. Rachel and Gee were just as stoked as their brother.
Let’s just see if those Atherton’s can add anymore silverware to the collection tomorrow…
Atherton and Beerten take 4x wins