By: Colin Meagher
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.
Overall already in the bag... but hungry for more. All eyes were on Graves to win here.
Anneke Beerten's paint job was so cool it was worth another photo.
Prototypes are the name of the game when it comes to racing here at the elite level... fresh rubber in the works for Michelin on Beerten's bike.
''My boy's gonna win here.'' -Prophetic words from Damion Smith, Yeti head wrench.
Proof positive in round one: Graves cleaning up on turn two.
Birds eye view on turn one from the chair lift; loads of spectators watched by continuously cycling the chair during the event.
Johannes Fishbach shutting the door on turn one.
Inside outside seemed to be the trick for owning the first corner. Rider after rider tried to come inside, but it was such a tricky move to pull off that few riders risked it.
Fabien Cousine was just one of many racers enjoying the start of the fall colors en route to the top of the track.
BMX skills leading the charge: Jana Horakova and Caroline Buchanan off the front.
Jared Graves left everyone in his shadow as he romped to yet another win during the season finale.
Kamil Tarterkovic out front heading into turn two.
In the opening straight, it's all about power. Jana Horakova laying it down.
Thoma Slavik shutting the door on Tartarkovic.
Dust trails in the fading light is a beautiful thing.
Where's Waldo? Jared Graves on a victory romp over the big doubles on the lower section.
A massive upset in the women's 4X with Anita Molcik not only winning but Beerten finishing lower than third-and throwing away the overall in the process.
Graves. A gentleman at the end.
All eyes were on Graves. The podium for the overall was just icing on the cake.
It's about passion, but it's also about the money. Thomas Slavik, chaperon in tow, looking for his hard earned coins...