The 4-Cross is a new event for the Houffalize World Cup venue, which lived up to its history of providing exciting racing with numerous lead changes and crashes.
Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) took his second consecutive win to cement his overall series lead, as Jill Kintner (Red Bull-Intense) came back from a disappointing first round to decisively put herself back into the fight for the women’s World Cup.
The wide open turns meant that the term ‘hole shot’ meant less than usual. “You could see by the number of crashes that guys were taking chances,” said Graves. “There was no one line, which made it very hard to protect a lead, and a fast start wasn’t that meaningful.”
One person affected by the crashes was world champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Specialized), who was hit from behind coming out of the first corner. His day was over after his front wheel resembled a pretzel following the crash.
For complete results and photos from the men’s 4-cross, visit Cyclingnews.com.
Kintner returns to the top
Kintner’s run to the final wasn’t quite as smooth. After winning her first two heats, Jana Horakova (Czech Republic) managed to get by her in the semi-final, and Kintner had to battle for that second spot to make the medal round.
Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center) held onto the women’s overall series lead after finishing third.
Podium (l-r): romana labounkova, jana horakova, jill kintner, anneke beerten and melissa buhl.: podium (l-r): romana labounkova, jana horakova, jill kintner, anneke beerten and melissa buhl. Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
In the medal race it was Kintner, Beerten, Horakova and Romana Labounkova (Czech Republic). Kintner jumped into the lead followed by Beerten, but the World Cup leader miscalculated the first corner and had to brake, allowing Horakova to slip into the second position.
“I came on the inside of Jill, thinking that she would go higher through the corner, but she went in a straight line and I had nowhere to go,” said Beerten. “But it was great racing, and I kept my jersey.”
For complete results and photos from the women’s 4-cross, visit Cyclingnews.com.