In a stunning upset, Anneke Beerten tossed it all away in a wild finale for the women’s overall, handing the win to Anita Molcik. In the men, Mr. Consistency, Jared Graves, absolutely dominated.
It was a perfect storm. Anita Molcik needed to win. Anneke Beerten needed to finish without silver or bronze. And that’s what happened. It was a stunning upset, and Beerten was completely torn, even though she put up a brave face on the podium.
As to the racing during the women’s field, it was fast and furious. There was some controversy with Fionn Griffiths getting DQ’d for taking out Caroline Buchanan on turn two of heat four. Griffiths was pretty choked up, as the ruling was a subjective ruling, made on the spot by the UCI official marshalling that section of track, with no room for a protest. As racing resumed, the favored riders, Molcik, Beerten, Jana Horakova, and Caroline Buchanan marched through the ranks to face off in the big final with Molcik taking the win, Buchanan second, Horakova third, and Beerten fourth; Katy Curd won the small final to place fifth.
For the men, it was beyond a perfect storm; rather it was a force majeure. Jared Graves was virtually unbeatable. He owned the opening straight and ruthlessly closed open doors. Even when he was passed, he reclaimed the lead seemingly effortlessly. In the end, not a single rider could stand against him. It was an absolutely dominating performance. There is no doubt that Graves has inherited the mantle of the greatest gated racer in action that was dropped by Brian Lopes the day he retired from World Cup competition. The king is dead; long live the king.