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Report by Chris Roberts
Photos by Charles Robertson
Szczawno Zdroj, Poland

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Round 2 of the 2011 Schwalbe Euro Fourcross Series took place last Saturday night in front of 5,000 screaming fans on one of the best 4X tracks in the World. The venue is in the middle of Szczawno Zdroj, an hour north of the Polish capital Wroclaw. Over the years the track has changed and developed into the amazing track that the riders were given on Saturday to race on.

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Heavy rain in the days leading up to the race forced the organisers to abandon the practice session on Friday evening to save the track for race day. It was a perfect call as come race day, the sun was out and the track dried out perfectly for the afternoon practice session.

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All the riders loved the track. It was great to see Cedric Gracia back on his 4X bike and enjoying the event. World Champion Tomas Slavik was there with his RSP team mates Joost Wichman and Michal Marosi, Lucas and Michael Mechura, Johannes Fischbach, Scott Beaumont and Kamil Tatarkovic were all there looking good and going into qualification it was anyones guess as to who would be the fastest.

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One by one the riders did their qualification runs. 64 riders qualified into the finals and it was the World Champion Tomas Slavik who took the fastest time ahead of Joost Wichman, Jacob Riha, Scott Beaumont and Johannes Fischbach.

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Onto the racing and in the first round one of the contenders crashed out in a pretty big way. Scott Beaumont, whilst leading his first heat made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out of the race. Likewise in his first heat, Cedric Gracia was eliminated, whilst in 2nd position, he found himself in a drag race with Adrian Weiss on the final straight. Weiss got the better of him and Gracia was out. Scott Roberts was also caught out by the track, crashing in turn 3. 3 major World Cup riders all out in the first round!

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In the second round, Adam Stasek who finished 3rd in the opening round at Houffalize a few weeks ago crashed out of contention and was eliminated also. Moving forwards to the semi finals though wereTomas Slavik, Johannes Fischbach, Michael Mechura and Jacub Riha in Semi 1 and Joost Wichman, Lucas Mechura, Marek Pesko and Jakub Hnidak in Semi 2.

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The gate dropped for Semi 1 and the riders battled into turn 1. In one of the best passes ever seen Michael Mechura cut back on the loose first turn and got underneath Fischbach. It was clean and timed to absolute perfection. Fischy fought hard all the way to the finish but Slavik moved to the final with Mechura.

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In semi 2 Michaels brother Lucas was looking to put himself into the final too. Wichman made the snap and got into the lead in front of Lucas. There were a few passes back and forth but into the final went Joost and Lucas.

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So final time, and it was two RSP riders versus two Chain Reaction/Nukeproof riders. The first time in a major 4X competition that two brothers were in the final together. Slavik made the start and got into turn one leading ahead of Wichman. In turn 3 Wichman slipped and gave Michael Mechura enough space to squeeze through and take 2nd place in the race, followed by Wichman and Lucas Mechura.

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The night though belonged to Tomas Slavik. Fastest qualifier and winner of the race in a style that compliments the World Champion. No pressure all night and a strong race win for him.

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Round 3 takes place this weekend in Afan, which is in South Wales, UK. For details on the event take a look at www.euro4xseries.com.

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