Individual qualifying for the World Cup Four-Cross event in Bromont took place last night, and it was won by American Jill Kintner (unaffiliated) and France’s Romain Saladini (Team Sunn). Riders started individually and did a quick time trial down the course (the Quebecois announcer called it “contre-la-montre,” French for “against the watch”). Times ranged from 51 seconds for the top men to about a minute for the women. The course is very exciting and spectator-friendly–there are a number of large jumps, and even a 360-degree corkscrew.
Four-cross appears to be a lot like sprinting in skiing, with a qualifying round and then sets of heats, which will take place later today. On a fifty-second course, though, there is even less margin for error than in a three-minute sprint race; the difference between qualifying and being left out of the men’s heats was .09 seconds. Pack four riders onto the course, which already seemed tight, and chaos is sure to ensue. Check back later tonight or tomorrow morning for coverage of the four-cross finals.
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.