Schwalbe British 4X Series Rd2 Falmouth
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Event: 20 April 2013
Tomas Slavik and Manon Carpenter took the wins in Falmouth at the Schwalbe British 4X Series second round.
After a fantastic start to the series in Afan, Wales three weeks ago, the series travelled south to Falmouth in Cornwall for round 2 on a brand new track designed and built by elite rider Will Evans.
Set in the rolling hillsides on the Falmouth coast, the track is quite simply a work of art. After weeks of planning, building and fine tuning this track has emerged to give British riders a new facility and a challenge that tested many over the weekend.
The track officially open on Saturday morning and it was clear that most riders would use the full day of practice to get the track dialled. With 11 corners, four of them flat, huge pro line doubles, rock sections and a huge variety of jumps there was plenty for everyone to get worked out before racing on Sunday. Blue skies, open track practice and an awesome track made for a great Saturday practice session.
In the women’s racing, Katy Curd, the 2012 4X European Champion was the hot favourite, but it was great to see Manon Carpenter racing again, challenging Curd. The 2012 downhill world championships silver medallist raced at round 1 and finished second and it was great to see her back again for round 2.
The biggest headlines of the weekend will be both Curd and Carpenter pushing each other to jumping the Pro Line doubles. Two huge double jumps that had many of the guys worried were conquered by the top two women and the progression that these riders are helping to push into women's 4X racing has to be seen to be believed
Throughout the motos Suzanne Lacey, Cara Murray and Jess Greaves were all racing well, taking moto wins and looking good. Joanna Kistle was racing 4X for the first time and the Cornwall BMX rider was looking good.
In the small final, Suzanne Lacey got the snap and just did not look back, taking the win from start to finish. In the A final, it was Katy Curd who made the gate and led into turn 1. As expected, Curd and Carpenter jumped the pro line and pulled a gap on Jess Greaves and Joanna Kistle. Curd looked to have it in the bag, until Carpenter dived to the inside with a brilliant pass and took the lead. She held on to take the win from Curd, Greaves and Kistle.
The headline acts for the weekend were Czech Republic rider Tomas Slavik and Swede Felix Beckeman. The RSP team mates had flown in for this round of the British 4X Series in preparation for the first round of the 4X ProTour which kicks off in two weeks in Poland.
They were looking fast all weekend and would definitely be fighting for the win. Winner of round one, Scott Beaumont, again looked in fine form and his track speed showed he was up to the international challengers. Lewis Lacey was matching everyone throughout practice and together with Boom Boom, Issac Mundy, Nate Parssons, Will Evans and the rest of the UK elites, would be giving it their all to take the win.
In the motos Slavik, Beckeman, Lacey and Beaumont were flying. Taking race wins separately but it was when they met for the first time in the final motos that sparks started to fly. Lacey was leading from Beckeman but after the rock section, Lewis went wide giving Beckeman space to dive inside.
The two riders came together on the exit of the turn and both crashed out. A racing incident, but even at this early stage, the riders were laying it all on the line to get vital wins. Beaumont then went against Slavik. Slavik got the snap and led the race out, Beaumont was hounding him the whole way down the track but could not quite find a way past.
In semi final one Slavik led from start to finish, but the battle was on for second. Tom Dowie had it but in a smart move by Will Evans, the track builder Evans just got by Dowie to book his spot in the final.
In semi final two it was Beaumont who led from start to finish. Again the battle was for second. This time Lewis Lacey kept it tight and Felix Beckeman just could not get past. It was Beaumont and Lacey into the A final.
Beckeman took a great win in the small final to grab the final spot on the podium. In the final, Slavik went from gate one, Beaumont in two, Lacey in three and Evans in four.
Slavik and Beaumont got the snap and battled down the first straight. Slavik took the lead in turn one but a dive to the inside of turn two put Beaumont in the lead. In turn three Slavik had the lead again but Beaumont was literally touching his back wheel.
Through the pro line doubles and across the rocks Slavik went tight to protect the lead, Beaumont sensing another chance railed the berm to draw level again. Hugging the inside lines Slavik held the lead but it was so tight the crowd were going wild.
On the last straight it was all over as Slavik came out of the last turn and Beaumont slipped – almost crashing in the process. An amazing final that showcased the speed and precision that the top elite riders have and what makes 4X so consistently entertaining.