Racing in today’s MBUK Eliminator dual slalom at BikeRadar Live was neck-and-neck, with no clear favourite emerging until Czech four-cross racer Michal Prokop beat Switzerland’s Roger Rinderknecht in both big final runs to clinch the victory.
The start list read like a Who’s Who of four-cross, with the vast majority of the top World Cup contenders present, along with downhill stars including Steve Peat and Chris Kovarik.
Hopes were high among the home crowd that Britain’s Gee Atherton might repeat last year’s win, but he was knocked out in the 1/4 final by Dutchman Joost Wichman. The only other remaining Brit, Josh Bryceland, was then beaten by Rinderknecht.
America’s Brian Lopes was the other rider to make the semi final, but he lost out to Rinderknecht. To show how close the racing was on the dry and dusty course, in their first run, just 1/100th of a second separated the pair.
Lopes faced Wichman in the small final, where a snapped chain on his first run put paid to his chances of grabbing third place. It did, however, allow Wichman to switch out of race mode and style it up over the last few jumps, including a comedy bar hump.
In a storming second run, Lopes finished 1.4 seconds ahead – just short of the two second overall lead he needed to win. There was no such drama in the big final, where Prokop won in both lanes to seize victory. Here’s what he had to say:
Tomorrow’s open dual slalom allows amateurs to race on the same course, with prizes for the top three in each category as well as spot prizes for those just taking part for fun. For more details, visit the BikeRadar Live website.