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4X ProTour Round 7 - Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2014 04:18pm
Aldington, Wychavon
By Chris Roberts
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So this is it. The 4X ProTour finals were held in Pamorovo in Bulgaria on Saturday night. As ever with 4X ProTour the racing did not disappoint. 
The track located at the heart of Pamporovo Bike Park is pretty amazing. Built in the centre of the forest, the track winds its way over huge jumps, multi lines, through the trees and into the finish arena. The longest track used on the 4X ProTour, at 50 seconds this was going to be a wild race. 
The riders arrived on Thursday and practice was underway. It was really interesting to see the top 4X riders in the world getting used to this track. The high speeds were really challenging the riders. One by one though they all started hitting the bigger jumps. Unfortunately the track took a couple of casualties. Dave Roberts from the UK had a huge crash on the step down which resulted in a broken collarbone and Matija Stupar had a big crash over the handlebars on a double jumps. Both riders we ok and we were all glad to see them walking away. By the end of Thursday practice was over and it was great to see the riders challenged on a new track that most of them had not ridden before. 
Qualifying: 
Friday rolled around and the 2nd practice session got underway at 12.00.

You could tell that the riders were in qualifying mode as they were railing the turns and carrying speed. After the practice session it was time for qualifying. In 4X riders get just 1 lap of the track for qualifying. It is a high pressure time for the riders as they have to get everything just right. First up it was the women. Heather Kay from the UK looked great all day and she got it perfect in her quali run, taking the fastest time ahead of Ani Tomeva, Gergana Radeva and Maria Georgieva. 
1st Heather Kay
2nd Ani Tomeva
3rd Gergana Radeva 
4th Maria Georgieva
Men's qualifying and it was Felix Beckeman who set the first time under 51 seconds. Luke Cryer made a big mistake and unfortunately couldn't challenge this time as did Simon Waldburger. Next up was Quentin Derbier. This guy tore the track apart and took over the hot seat with the fastest time of 50.48. Next was Scott Beaumont. Smooth as always his run looked great but he did not go fastest, sliding into 3rd across the finish. Last rider was Tomas Slavik. On his new full suspension Ghost frame, Tomas looked fast. Across the finish line it was enough, taking the fastest qualifying time. 
1st Tomas Slavik - 50.11
2nd Quentin Derbier - 50.48
3rd Felix Beckeman - 50.83
4th Scott Beaumont - 51.96

Race Day:
Saturday 23rd August and it was race day for the final time in 2014. The forecast rain luckily came through the night and made the track perfect for racing. The sun was shining, TV cameras were rolling and the crowd were ready for the racing. 
Mirco Weiss was one of the riders who made an early exit. The Swiss rider had a tough draw with Scott Beaumont and Simon Waldburger and with a mistake he was out of the racing. Local rider Georgi Radev, who helped to build the track also went out in the quarter finals. By the time the semi finals rolled around, for one of the first times ever, the top 8 riders from qualifying remained. 
In semi final 1 it was Tomas Slavik on gate 1, Scott Beaumont in 2, Simon Wladburger in 3 and Adrian Weiss in 4. The gate dropped and it was Beaumont with the holeshot. Into turn 1 Slavik took the lead. Heading towards the wooded section, Waldburger was lining his move up. He tried to dive to the inside of Beaumont but his wheels washed out. Slavik and Beaumont were into the final. 
In semi final 2 it was Quentin Derbier in gate 1, Felix Beckeman in 2, Luke Cryer in 3 and Urban Rotnik in 4. The gate dropped and Derbier took the lead. Beckeman dived inside on the first turn and those 2 drag raced down the second straight. Cryer was hunting them down and he got close by the finish but couldn't make a pass stick.
The women's final lined up in the gate. Heather Kay in gate 1, Ani Tomeva in 2, Gergana Radeva in 3 and Maria Georgieva in 4. The gate dropped and Kay got the holeshot with Tomeva close behind. Holding the inside lines Kay kept her head and led from start to finish to take her first ever 4X ProTour victory. Tomeva finished 2nd, Radeva in 3rd and Georgieva in 4th. 
In the men's small final, Simon Waldburger took gate 1, Luke Cryer in 2, Adrian Weiss in 3 and Urban Rotnik in 4. Waldburger got the holeshot with Weiss in 2nd. The race looked to be pretty settled until 3rd place Luke Cryer made the pass of the day. Diving inside in the woods, hoping the logs and cleanly taking 2nd. Waldburger took the win and the final step of the podium but it was Cryer who stole the show with his amazing pass for 6th overall. 
So it was time for the main final. Slavik in gate 1, Derbier in 2, Beckeman in 3 and Beaumont in 4. The gate dropped and the riders were level. Into turn 1 Slavik and Derbier tangled handlebars and Beaumont almost got a drive around the outside. It didn't work and Beaumont lost a lot of time. Slavik was leading from Derbier. Through the esses Derbier drew alongside Slavik and it was tight down the third straight. Into the woods and Slavik held the lead. Beaumont meanwhile had caught Beckeman and on the last straight tried to gain on him down the outside. Slavik took the win from Derbier but the action was behind. Beaumont hit a soft patch on the track qhich threw his weight forward then catapulted him over the handlebars. It was a huge crash that looked severe. A couple of minutes later though, Scott was up and got back on his bike to finish the race. It was a tough end to the race but everyone was happy to see no major injuries to Scott. 
Later that evening, the award ceremonies took place for the race and the season overall at a big party in the centre of town. 

2014 4X ProTour overall standings:
The overall standings were:
Women's: 
1st - Helene Fruhwirth
2nd - Heather Kay
3rd - Natalia Piwowarczyk
4th - Eva Brauer
5th - Dana Schweika

Men's:
1st - Tomas Slavik
2nd - Quentin Derbier
3rd - Felix Beckeman
4th - Scott Beaumont
5th - Hannes Slavik

So that was it for the 4X ProTour 2014. A huge thank you goes out to all the riders who continue to support the 4X ProTour, the venues and organisers: Szczawno - Poland, Winterberg - Germany, Fort William - Scotland, Val Di Sole - Italy, Jablonec - Czech Republic, Leibstadt - Switzerland and of course Pamporovo in Bulgaria. 
The dates and venues for the 2015 4X ProTour will be announced in the next few weeks so keep your eyes out to see where we will be racing in 2015. 
Finally thanks to the 4X fans around the world for reading our race reports and watching our films. It is the support of you guys that makes the 4X ProTour such a great race series. 
For more information on the 4X ProTour, visit:
www.4xprotour.com
www.facebook.com/4xprotour
www.twitter.com/4xprotour
www.instagram.com/4xprotour 
 

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