June 5, 2016
FORT WILLIAM BUFF® 4X PRO TOUR FINAL FINISHES ON A EUROPEAN HIGH
Czech, Tomáš Slavik, and German, Steffi Marth, take top spots on the podium
Today (4 June), 45 riders from across the world descended upon the Nevis Range in Fort William for the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour. Taking place on the uncompromising slopes of Anoch Mor in the Scottish Highlands, the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour was the second of five events in the 2016 series.
As the early evening sun shone down on the Nevis Range, the riders used all of their technical ability and fearless energy to choose the right line, navigate jumps and sprint to the finish ahead of their competitors. In 4X, riders compete four abreast, battling it out head-to-head, in a race that makes a very different spectacle to the downhill event where riders are timed individually.
After missing the event last year due to injury, 2014 winner, Czech rider Tomáš Slavik stormed through to take the win, beating second place Quentin Derbier, from France, and British fan favourite Scott Beaumont coming in third. Felix Beckman from Sweden finished in fourth.
Tomáš said: “Last year I wasn’t able to make it to Fort William because of injury so this is a great comeback for me and I’m stoked to win here. It was tough out there because you never know what to expect, and it was hard to decide the best line to take.
“The race was wide open but it was great to get to the bottom in front of the other riders and take the win.”
Speaking in memory of downhill mountain bike rider, Steve Smith, who tragically passed away last month, Tomáš added, “It’s been tough times for the mountain bike community. We miss Stevie and this is the smallest thing I can do for him. We’re all sad he’s no longer with us and I’m sure he’d be proud of being shown so much love by everyone at Fort William.”
The women’s competition saw German rider, Steffi Marth, triumph over a largely British pool of competitors. She said: “I raced my first 4X race here at Fort William in 2007. I’ve been here every year for the 4X event – I can’t come to Fort William and not do 4X!
“The people definitely make Fort William special. So many people come out here, it’s so far away from city life, and the crowd is always so excited and cheer us on all the way through. The track here is awesome, it’s really rough and nice and dry. It’s great to get a win – training went really well and I also qualified for the downhill today so I was really pumped for the race.”
This year for the first time, the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour was streamed live online via the Extreme Sports Channel, where fans from all over the world were able to tune in live and get all of the action.
Photos: Sadie Aldridge, Keith Valentine