GeneralNewsRacingWorld CupFour-Cross Qualifying

Avatar Nathaniel HerzAugust 1, 2009

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.

 

The riders started at a gate that automatically released when it was time to go. There was actually a drag racing-style traffic light that went from red to green.
The riders started at a gate that automatically released when it was time to go. There was actually a drag racing-style traffic light that went from red to green.

 

The gate looked like it used an explosive charge to open--check out the puff of smoke! Also, you can see the shin guards on the rider's leg--a lot of them wear padding all over their bodies.
The gate looked like it used an explosive charge to open--check out the puff of smoke! Also, you can see the shin guards on the rider's leg--a lot of them wear padding all over their bodies.

 

A rider coming in to the top of the 360-degree corkscrew.
A rider coming in to the top of the 360-degree corkscrew.

 

American Thomas Tokarczyk. These guys got even bigger air than the downhillers.
American Thomas Tokarczyk. These guys got even bigger air than the downhillers.

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Nathaniel Herz

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.

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