Schwalbe Euro 4X Series round 1 – Winterberg, Germany.
The opening round of the 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series took place in Winterberg, Germany at the weekend. Held as part of the Dirt masters Festival, this event attracts thousands of fans who flock to Winterberg to watch Schwalbe Euro 4X Series, IXS Downhill series and the impressive Bergline Freeride World Tour event.
The race had nearly 200 riders entered so practice was busy and the track has had a constant flow of riders as everyone got to grips with it. The weather played a pretty big part of the weekend as well. On Friday the track was a little bit wet and it made the turns slippery in places. On Saturday it was foggy and damp for qualifying, but then for race day, the sun was shining and the track was absolutely perfect.
In qualifying, Tomas Slavik had a perfect run to take the fastest time ahead of Hannes Slavik (no relation to Tomas), with Scott Beaumont in 3rd. Just 2 seconds covered the top 15 riders making this an extremely tight qualifying session. It was awesome to see Joost Wichman back and also to see Ivo Van Der Putten, the World Class BMX rider from Netherlands giving 4X a go. He qualified in 7th.
In the women’s Katy Curd continued her domination of 2013 as she took the fastest qualifier ahead of Steffi Marth and Helene Fruwirth. It was great to see Fruwirth back on the bike after she had a huge crash at the first 4X ProTour round in Poland 2 weeks ago.
So onto race day. As mentioned the sun was shining and the track was perfect. In the early rounds there were a couple of top riders who went out. David Axelsson from Sweden crashed in his first round and did not qualify to the final 32. A crash for Adrian Weiss and a broken collarbone put him out in the 2nd round of racing along with Milan Mysik and Martin Neumayer.
It was the quarter finals though, where some real shocks came along. Van Der Putten was leading his quarter final when a crash took him out of the race. He was looking good but a mistake cost him. Joost Wichman, Jurg Meier and Jakub Riha all also failed to make the semi finals.
In semi final 1, Tomas Slavik led from start to finish, but the action was the fight for 2nd. Felix Beckeman was looking good but through the ‘Schwalbe S bends’ Aiko Gohler dived inside and took 2nd place away from Beckeman to book the final spot.
In semi final 2, Hannes Slavik battled Boom Boom Beaumont into turn 1, but Slavik got the holeshot. Running wide, Beaumont then slipped back to 3rd as Benedikt Last moved into 2nd. Beaumont was quite a long way behind, but carried speed all the way and made his move in the final turn to pass Benedikt Last back again and move into the final.
So onto the finals and first up were the women. Fastest qualifier Katy Curd took gate 1, Steffi Marth was in 2, Helene Fruwirth in 3 and Tanja Hendrysiak in 4. Curd got the snap and led into turn 1. Fruwirth was close to her and got on her back wheel to settle into 2nd. Hendrysiak made a great pass on Marth to move into 3rd. Fruwirth hounded Curd all the way, but just could not find a way past. Curd took the win from Fruwirth and Hendrysiak.
The men’s final stepped up to the start. Slavik on gate 1, Hannes Slavik on 2, Beaumont on 3 and Gohler on 4. As the gate dropped, Tomas Slavik led into turn 1 with Boom Boom right behind him. Then from tight inside Hannes Slavik collided with Beaumont and both riders crashed out of the race. Gohler narrowly missed the carnage and moved into 2nd. There was a battle for the bikes, but Beaumont got going 1st and took the final step on the podium. This was the first 4X race in a while where a big crash decided the outcome, but luckily all the riders were ok.
Tomas Slavik was clearly happy with the win:
‘I have had an awesome winter of training and it is paying off right now. I’m stoked to take the win here in Winterberg and leave here with the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series points lead.’
A truly awesome day of racing, and a great start to the 2013 Schwalbe Euro 4X Series.Results – Women: Final
1 CURD Katy – Rose Vaujany
2 FRUWIRTH Helene – Ciclopia Moro
3 HENDRYSIAK Tanja – Merida Velo Team
4 MARTH Steffi – Trek Gravity GirlsSmall Final
5 LACKAS Julia – Last Bikes
6 SCHMULBACH Jessica – Rodan
7 BORSCHIG Anna – Nox Cycles
8 KONIKOWSKI Laura – ghost Racing TeamResults – Men:
1 SLAVIK Tomas – RSP Mountain Bike Team
2 GOHLER Aiko – Last Factory Team
3 BEAUMONT Scott – Yeti Racing UK
4 SLAVIK Hannes – Transition Bikes
5 BECKEMAN Felix – RSP Mountain Bike Team
6 LAST Benedikt – www.fourcross.de
7 KULESZA Robert – MTB Wieza
8 PENC Jiri – Gigantic Racing Team
Here is the link to both men’s and women’s finals that was shown live on www.bigair.tv :
For full results on www.euro4xseries.com
Round 2 of the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series is in Harthill, UK on 2nd June 2013.
Keep up to date with the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series on: www.euro4xseries.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/eurofourcrossseries
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/euro4xseries
Photo Credit Chris Roberts