Jeep return for another year as the official vehicle partner of the UCI Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup, and they’re giving YOU an exclusive opportunity to win VIP tickets to the event – you might even get to meet the current female World Cup leader Rachel Atherton and her MTB siblings through a Trek Factory racing pit tour! Simply head to the Jeep UK Facebook page, tag a friend you would like to bring, and tell us why you deserve to go in the comments for the chance to win!
4X ProTour 2016 – BMO Rumble – Winterberg,Germany
The opening round of the 2016 4X ProTour 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 4X ProTour, IXS Downhill Cup and the impressive Slopestyle event.
The race had nearly 200 riders entered so practice was busy and the track had a constant flow of riders as everyone got to grips with it. The weather was dry for qualifying making the track super fast and dusty. The sun was shining and the track was absolutely perfect.
In the women’s qualifying, it was an amazing ride from Natasha Bradley as she took the fastest qualifier ahead of Vanessa Kager and Michaela Berakova.
In men’s qualifying, there were 74 riders looking to qualify in the 64 places available. Every rider was looking for a perfect run but the rougher track this year was tricky and catching a few riders out. At the sharp end, it was Tomas Slavik from Czech Republic who had a perfect run to take the fastest time ahead of Quentin Derbier, with Hannes Slavik (no relation to Tomas) in 3rd. Just 2 seconds covered the top 10 riders making this an extremely tight qualifying session.
So onto race day. The sun from the previous 2 days unfortunately disappeared and was replaced with freezing temperatures, snow, sleet and rain. The conditions were extremely tough and made the racing challenging for everyone.
In the early rounds there were a couple of top riders who went out. German favourite Aiko Gohler unfortunately failed to make it past the first round of racing which would only place him in 44th for the day. The current 4X World Champion just didn’t look at home all weekend, however the early first round exit was a real surprise. Bondor Bogdan who qualified 8th also had a terrible first round and did not make it through.
It was the quarter finals though, where some real shocks came along. Klaus Beige, Tom Scherer and Marco Muff all qualified in the top 10 but all failed to make the semi finals.
In semi final 1, Quentin Derbier made life tough for himself starting in third but made his way through to 2nd at the finish line to qualify with Hannes Slavik who led from start to finish.
In semi final 2, Tomas Slavik got the holeshot and rode a comfortable lap with Felix Beckeman, Jonas Gauss and Scott Beaumont fighting for 2nd. Felix withheld the pressure and booked his place in he final.
So onto the finals and first up were the women. Marissa Roth won the small final to give her 5th place for the day and the final podium position. In the main final, fastest qualifier Natasha Bradley took gate 1, Vanessa Kager was in 2, Michela Berakova in 3 and Olga Romzaikina in 4. Bradley missed the gate and went into turn 1 in 2nd. Romzaikina was leading the race into turn 2 when Bradley made her move to take the lead. Romzaikina unfortunately went from 1st to 4th in one corner! Kager followed Bradley through into 2nd. The race stayed like this to the finish with Bradley taking the win, Kager 2nd and Berakova in 3rd.
The men’s finals stepped up to the start. Simon Waldburger rode fantastic all day and was duly rewarded with winning the small final to give him 5th overall for the day.
The last race of the day was the elite men’s final. Tomas Slavik took gate 1, Quentin Derbier on 2, Hannes Slavik on 3 Felix Beckeman on 4. It may surprise you all to know but it is extremely rare that the top 4 qualifiers all end up in the final! As the gate dropped, All 4 riders were level and something had to give. With a bump and bang, Felix Beckeman came out of the turn leading with Tomas in 2nd and Hannes in 3rd. Into turn 2 and Derbier dived inside of Hannes Slavik and Slavik crashed out of the race. Beckeman led the race until the esses where Tomas made his move and dived inside. It was absolutely flat out, tyres on the limit, full gas perfection. They were wheel to wheel and that was the way it stayed. Tomas Slavik took the win from Beckeman, Derbier and Hannes Slavik.
Tomas Slavik was clearly happy with the win:
‘I have had an awesome winter of training and it is paying off right now. After a year of illness in 2015 I’m stoked to be back and take the win here in Winterberg and leave here with the 4X ProTour points lead.’
Results – Women:
1. Natasha Bradley
2. Vanessa Kager
3. Michela Berakova
4. Olga Romzaikina
5. Marissa Roth
6. Mareike Bohm
7. Hannah Escott
8. Eva Katherina Brauer
Results – Men:
1. Tomas Slavik
2. Felix Beckeman
3. Quentin Derbier
4. Hannes Slavik
5. Simon Waldburger
6. Bocharov Krill
7. Scott Beaumont
8. Jonas Gauss
So that was it from Winterberg and round 1. Some great racing, huge crowds, a few fresh names and the top riders from 2015 again showing they are ready to make a challenge for the 2016 title.
The next round of 4X ProTour is in Fort William on June 4th. We will be reporting from practice, qualifying and the race itself but if you have ever fancied attending a 4X ProTour race and you are free that weekend we cannot recommend it enough. It is a real showcase of these riders and their talents on hardtail mountain bikes.
You can find the results and all the details about the upcoming third round in Fort William here.
After an amazing 2015 season, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2016 4X ProTour. Visiting 5 countries, we are all set to see a spectacular year of 4X racing once again.
Full support from all the riders and teams over the last 4 years has given the 4X ProTour perfect foundations with which to continue pushing the sport and attracting new riders to what is one of mountain biking’s most spectacular disciplines. With a great line up of venues and tracks that will challenge the riders at every stop, let’s get 2016 launched…..
The 2015 4X ProTour Champions will be back in 2016 to defend their titles. Quentin Derbier and Helene Fruhwirth were the king and queen of the tour in 2015 with consistent results that gave them the overall crowns. Who will they be up against in 2016?
In the men’s, Scott Beaumont showed in 2015 that he has the speed to win the overall title. Consistency will be the key to get his hands on the title. Tomas Slavik is back from injury and will no doubt be hungry to get his hands back on the overall title. Hannes Slavik will be back in a bid to win and German World Champion Aiko Gohler will be out to show everyone he can win an overall series as well as the single day World Champs. The Australian challenge will come from Blake Neilson, who after a couple of years of injury, will be looking to finally reach his potential and push for race wins.
In the women’s, there is some fresh competition that will be looking to beat Helene. The British contingent of Heather Kay and Natasha Bradley are all set for a season of 4X ProTour. Polish rider Natalia Piwowarczyk will be looking to avoid injury, stay consistent and give herself a chance of being crowned the 4X ProTour champion. German riders Eva Brauer and Julia Lackas will also be looking for consistency to lift the title.
2016 Dates and Venues…
Round 1: May 7th Papendal, The Netherlands
Round 2: May 15th Winterberg, Germany
Round 3: June 4th Fort William, Scotland
Round 4: July 16th Jablonec, Czech Republic
Round 5: October 8th Roc D’Azur, France
The season will kick off at Papendal in Netherlands as part of the BMX Supercross World Cup weekend. The event will see a slight change to our normal racing though. In a joint venture with Joost Wichman and his Pump Battle series, we will see for the first time a pump track being used for our racing.
Round 2 will be held at the ever popular DirtMasters event in Winterberg, Germany. With huge crowds and every discipline covered, this is a festival that 4X ProTour has to be at!
Round 3 in Fort William is always one of the best stops. If you haven’t been to Fort William before, then believe the hype. It is an awesome weekend and is one of the venues that simply have to be included on the 4X ProTour.
Round 4 will be held at one of the finest 4X tracks in the whole world. JBC Bikepark in Jablonec in Czech Republic is set in parkland in the centre of the town. The entire town supports 4X and on race night, be prepared to see over 8,000 spectators lining the course screaming for the riders.
Round 5 is a new venue as we will be heading to Roc D’Azur festival in the south of France.4X ProTour rider Cedric Lloren has worked all winter to secure this event and we can’t wait to showcase 4X ProTour to the French crowds.
So a great range of tracks for the 4X ProTour in 2016. 5 rounds spread throughout the summer months to find out who is the world’s best 4X rider. With the best 3 rounds to count for the overall series it is going to be very interesting to see who comes out on top.
Keep up to date…
www.4xprotour.com – On there are race results, the history of 4X, race review films and everything you need to know about 4X ProTour.
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4X racing is the only head to head Mountain Bike race format that continues to deliver the action and excitement that the general public can engage with. TV companies love the simple format and action that the sport delivers. Races consist of 4 riders, and see them racing on a track full of jumps, banked corners and natural terrain. The top 2 riders in each race move onto the next round. A process of elimination from 64 riders whittles them down to the final, where the winner is crowned.