Joost "The Boost" Wichman and Caroline Buchanan Win 4X World Champs 4
The 4X track in Leogang is one of the better tracks on the 4X circuit, and it certainly delivered exciting racing for the 2013 World 4X Championships. As a reminder, 4X World Championships were not held together with the other mountain bike disciplines this year, since South Africa lacks a suitable venue - but with the final round of the DH World Cup being held in Leogang at the same time, the race still enjoyed big crowds and a proper atmosphere.
In the women's, the 3 big favorites Buchana, Beerten, and Kurd made it through to the big final with relative ease - helped greatly by the fact that they were the only 3 women hitting the big pro line (easily worth 3-4 seconds per run).
The big pro line was to prove fatal to Anneke Beerten in the final however - locked with Katy Curd in a battle for second place, she came up short on the last big double and took a very nasty looking slam - completely writing off her wheel in the process. Anneke suffered a nasty looking bump on the leg and a possible broken finger, but for anybody who saw the crash that seems like fairly light punishment. Get well soon Anneke!
In the end, Caroline Buchanan took a well-deserved win - she was easily the fastest girl on the night, and never looked threatened. Big congrats to Caroline who adds the 4X World Champion title to her BMX World Champion titles.
2013 Women's 4X World Championships Results (full results)
Over to the men's - the final 4 were Wichman, Mechura, Derbier, and Slavik. This was always going to be a hotly contested affair, with an uncertain outcome. Slavik and Mechura got away fastest, but then proceeded to take each other out, leaving Derbier and Wichman to duke it out for the gold. Joost was trailing but rode the second big jump line brilliantly, and stuck a clean inside passing move that took a lot of commitment to pull off. Seems that special Worlds Edition bike was the right tool for the job!
The prize was the World Champion title, a fitting reward for a great 4X career that Joost has said ends after tonight. Congrats to "The Boost" on a brilliant career and a brilliant win!
2013 Men's 4X World Championships Results (full results)