Schwalbe Euro 4X Series Round 5, Pec, Czech Republic,Race Report
Adam Stasek wins on the day but Tomas Slavik takes the series overall in a thrilling race in the Czech Republic
Schwalbe Euro 4X Series Round 5 - Pec, Czech Republic - Press Release
Stasek Takes the victory in dramatic final round
Saturday 24th September saw the gate drop for the final time on the 2011 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series in the beautiful village of Pec in Czech Republic.
Europe's finest 4X riders were given sunshine all weekend and a track that has be to be classed as one of the World's toughest 4X tracks ever built! It was steep, rocky and challenging for all the riders. Throw into that mix 50 foot double jumps, 50 foot road gaps and a crazy crowd and we had all the recipes for an unbelievable series finals.
Practice, Qualification and racing all took place on Saturday, giving the big crowds plenty of 4X action during the day. The World Cup regulars of Slavik, Wichman, Stasek, Tatarkovic, Beaumont, Roberts, Muhlhans and Tjechman were all looking fast in practice along with a few new 4X riders who were trying to make their mark.
There was one huge casualty at the end of practice. Joost Wichman, the Series leader coming into the finals crashed hard on his final gate practice. His shoulder landed into a jump on the exit of the first turn and instantly it was obvious that Joost was out of the race. A dislocated shoulder and some other shoulder damage was the diagnosis and unfortunately Joost had to miss the race. This threw the overall series on its head as Joost's lead in the Championship looked under threat if Slavik or Beaumont had a good day.
Qualification started at noon. Adam Stasek had looked fantastic in practice and it was no surprise to all present when he went fastest ahead of Kamil Tatarkovic and Slavik.
So the scene was set and the races were ready. In the first round there were no real surprises as all the favourites moved forward to the quarter finals. Here we had the first casualty - Kamil Tatarkovic had elected to ride his 6 inch travel Freeride bike in the racing. Although his speed on the track was fantastic, his start was less than impressive on the big hitting bike. He found himself stuck in 3rd in his quarter final and unfortunately went out to give him 9th overall on the day.
Another rider knocked out in the quarter finals was Milan Mysik who was involved in the pass of the day. Heading down the track Milan was safe in 2nd behind Slavik and ahead of Scott Roberts. It looked like that was how it was going to end as Scott Roberts had not jumped the 50 foot double at the bottom of the track, but in an amazing, 'back against the wall' moment, Roberts let off his brakes and jumped the double for the first time, grabbing 2nd in that race and moving onto the semi finals. Mysik who was sat 4th in the overall points was out giving him 10th for the day.
Onto the semi finals. Stasek lined up against Jacub Riha, Marek Pesko and Beaumont. The first turn was tight with alot of bumping and banging. Stasek was out front and Beaumont hounded Riha all the way, but Riha crossed the line in 2nd and moved onto the main final. In the 2nd semi final Slavik, Zdenek Plasil, , Adrian Weiss and Roberts. Slavik got the jump and led the race start to finish no problems. 2nd again was up in the air, but after several passes, Adrian Weiss put himself into his first final ever in the Euro Series and probably the best ride of his life.
So the small final was up first. Pesko led the race in the first turn, but Beaumont dived inside in turn 2 to take the lead. In a British train, Roberts followed him through and chased Boom Boom all the way. Crossing the line Beaumont won giving him 5th from Roberts, Plasil and Pesko. This was enough to secure 3rd overall for Beaumont who was clearly pleased at the finish line. Equally happy was Scott Roberts who did enough to hold onto 5th overall, whatever happened in the main final.
Slavik had gone about his racing all day and not worried about the overall points. He wanted to win the race which he knew would give him the overall title. He took the lead from the start and was looking good until an uncharacteristic mistake saw him crash out of the race. Stasek took the lead from Riha who in the next turn tried a passing move, but also crashed out. Stasek from here had an easy win from Weiss. Riha got up first and took 3rd from Slavik who at this point thought he had not done enough to take the overall series.
Once the maths were done, Slavik had done enough, taking the series from Wichman, Beaumont, Stasek and Roberts.
1st - Tomas Slavik - 404
2nd - Joost Wichamn - 396
3rd - Scott Beaumont - 349
4th - Adam Stasek - 337
5th Scott Roberts - 286
Full results on www.euro4xseries.com
The 2011 Schwalbe Euro Series has been a tremendous success attracting Europe's top 4X racers to compete on some of Europe's best tracks.
We would like to thank Schwalbe for their fantastic support for the sport of 4X. We would also like to thank the organisers at Houffalize - Belgium, Szczawno Zdroj - Poland, Afan - UK, Leogang - Austria and Pec - Czech Republic.
The 2012 Series is already starting to take shape and we look forward to seeing you all at round 1 next year.
Keep up to date with the series: www.euro4xseries.com
Follow the series on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eurofourcrossseries
Photos by Charles Robertson Photography & Chris Roberts