Caroline is on fire! The three-time BMX world champion and now five-time MTB world champion has been busy. A month ago she was 0.008 seconds off a fourth BMX world title then rode her chainless mountain bike to victory at Whistler Crankworx Ultimate Pump Track Challenge, concurrently securing the Crankworx Pump Track world series win. A week later she was back pedalling out of the gate on her way to defending her 4X world title in Val di Sole, Italy.
The 4X (four-cross) world titles were awarded in Val di Sole, Italy, on Friday at the UCI MTB Four-cross World Championships. Australia and Sweden took the women’s and men’s titles, respectively. Val di Sole in Trentino, the northeastern region of Italy, played host to the event for the third consecutive year.
The 4X track in Val di Sole is one of only a few permanent tracks and timed seeding runs for women and men took place on Thursday, August 24th, with the Finals on Friday, August 25th. The track was created for the 2008 UCI World Championships, and it is among the most stunning and challenging courses in the world. At 600 metres, the track is the longest on the 4X Pro Tour circuit. Riders compete four at a time, with the top two from each heat moving to the next round until there were only four left to compete for the rainbow jersey. Racing took place at night under lights before thousands of fans.
In the women’s field, Caroline Buchanan of Australia, the defending champion, won her fifth title. In addition to last year, Buchanan also won in 2009, 2010 and 2013. The silver medal went to Romana Labounkova of the Czech Republic, with Helene Fruhwirth of Austria taking the bronze medal.
The men’s title was won by unheralded Felix Beckeman of Sweden, who was also the fastest qualifier. Beckeman beat favourites such as defending champion Mitja Ergaver of Slovenia, Czech rider Tomas Slavik, who won the silver medal in 2016, last year’s bronze medalist Luke Cryer (Great Britain) and 2015 champion Aiko Göhler of Germany. Quentin Derbier of France took the silver medal, with Giovanni Pozzoni of Italy winning bronze.
Be sure to follow Caroline on Instagram @cbuchanan68