Swiss BMC team rider Roger Rinderknecht got his full power back: he was dominating the qualifications as well as the finals of the 4X World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy. Tomas Slavik (CZE) got 2nd, Michal Prokop (CZE) 3rd and Jared Graves (AUS) 4th.
The 4X track in Val di Sole featured a lot of big jumps and some good options to pass. It was a familiar set up for Roger Rinderknecht who already got 2nd in the Worlds in 2008 on that same course.
Graves, Slavik, Prokop and Rinderknecht showed a great performance throughout the two race days. But from the very beginning, it was Roger, who was the fastest in the time trials, owning a 0.45 seconds gap to Jared Graves.
Roger dominated all his qualifications runs. Until the finals he had the hole shot in every race. But in the finals Roger knew that he had one competitor that he lost against many times, but on Val di Sole Roger was on fire!
The finals were thrilling. Graves knew that a third place would secure him the overall win of the 4X World Cup. The World Cup leader from Australia had the best start, went on first position after the gate and took the outside line of the second turn. Rinderknecht saw his chance and shot into the inside line, elbows out and Roger managed to pass Graves – a hard, but fair battle which pulled Graves back in 4th position. Slavik and Prokop sticked to Roger’s rear wheel, but were not able to stop Roger, who crossed the finish line in first place.
Roger was just happy after the race: “Winning the qualifications felt really good, but the victory made the weekend just perfect. The hard training back then in the wintertime as well as the recent sessions I did for the season’s end paid out. I am really looking forward to the races abroad!”
Jared Graves leads the current world cup standings with 135 points in front of Slavik, so it is already decided that he repeats his overall World Cup victory and wins again in 2010. Rinderknecht is currently in 6th place, but still has chances to improve if he gets another podium spot in Windham at the World Cup finals.
Photos by Lance and Colin Meagher (Courtesy of Rasoulution)