By Rob Jones, Cyclingews.com

Monday, August 30, 2010 11.19am

Windham victory secures overall title

By Rob Jones, Cyclingnews.com

The Four-Cross World Cup series concluded on Saturday evening, with the crowning of a new champion. Austrian rider Anita Molcik overtook defending champion Anneke Beerten (Suspension Centre) to win both the final event and the overall title.

The natural terrain that highlighted the Windham course made for some tight racing, with passes and crashes meaning that no one was assured of moving on through the heats until they actually crossed the finish line.

The women's field was one of the biggest of the season, with quarter final heats being contested, as well as the usual semifinals. Beerten and Molcik had qualified 1-2, but others who could potentially be spoilers were world champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia, Czech rider Jana Horakova and her compatriot Romana Labounkova.

In the final it came down to Beerten, Molcik, Buchanan and Horakova. Buchanan had a bit of a rocky route to the final - she finished third in her opening heat after tangling with Fionn Griffiths (Norco) and crashing, but was reinstated when Griffiths was disqualified.

Out of the gate in the final Beerten took the lead, but Molcik was right with her. Then the Dutch woman's front wheel slid out, she was down and Molcik went on to win the race and the title. Buchanan took second, Horakova third, and Beerten limped in fourth, in shock at the way her World Cup season had ended. For Molcik, it was the first win of her career.

In the final standings, it was Molcik with 385 points, Beerten at 370 and Horakova at 270.

"Overall champion. it is so unbelievable. It was so hard, because I knew that if Anneke got to the finals, I had to get take a victory and she only needed to finish third for the overall, and I didn't think it would happen for me," said Molcik.

"Some of the other girls are faster, so maybe not, I thought. This is the first victory in my life for me at a World Cup and then the World Cup overall, it is so amazing."

For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com

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