Posted by Editoress on 08/20/11
The overall titles may have been decided going into the final round of the 4-Cross World Cup, but there was still intense competition for victory in Val di Sole, Italy, at one of the best attended events of the season. World champion Tomas Slavik (RSP 4 Cross) beat World Cup champion Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) in the men's competition, while Anneke Beerten (Milka-Trek) confirmed her status as top woman in the sport by taking her fourth win of the season.
The 16 women who qualified were whittled down to four, for the final: Beerten, Switzerland's Lucia Oetjen, Melissa Buhl of the United States and Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie). Beerten, who had dominated each of her heats on the way to final easily took the win, followed by Oetjen and Buhl. Steffi Marth of Germany won the small final for fifth.
The men's competition saw a number of crashes on the way to selecting the final four riders. Joining Slavik and Graves in the fnal were Czech rider Kamil Tatarkovic and Johannes Fischbach (Ghost Factory). Graves got off to his usual fast start, with Slavik trailing well back in fourth. At the bottom of the course Slavik made the move of the day, cutting inside a corner to jump into the lead and win. Fischbach took second after Graves tangled with Tatarkovic and finished fourth.
Beerten took her fourth women's title with an almost perfect score of 450 points, followed by Buhl with 240, Oetjen at 225, Gros at 190 and Fionn Griffiths (Team GR) with 135 points. In the men's competition, Graves finished with 485 points to win his third title, followed by Swiss rider roger Rinderknecht at 300, Slavik at 283, Switzerland's David Graf at 250 and Michal Prokop of the Czech Republic also at 250 points. Rinderknecht, Graf and Prokop all missed the final to compete at the Olympic BMX test event in London.
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