By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
The latest rendition of four-rider gated racing took place Wednesday afternoon on the sun-drenched slopes of Les Relais Ski Resort in Lac-Beauport, Quebec, just 15 minutes north of Quebec City. The event, dubbed the Schwinn-Toyota Biker-Cross, served as a prelude for the upcoming World Cup finals slated for Saturday and Sunday at nearby Mont-Ste-Anne.
After nearly three hours of delay-marred racing, it was Schwinn’s Mickael Deldycke and Jamis rider Katrina Miller who walked away with the bulk of the $10,000 pot offered up at the made-for-TV affair. The longest delay occurred when a semi-pro rider had to be taken off on a backboard after crashing hard during the Big-Air competition, which organizers added to keep the crowd pumped up between biker-cross heats.
In the men’s final Deldycke was quickest out of the four-rider motocross gate, getting into the first turn ahead of fellow finalists Wade Bootes (Trek-Volkswagen), Cedric Gracia (Volvo Cannondale) and Sean McCarroll (Global Racing). From there it was just a matter of riding defensively for the young Frenchman, as there was little opportunity for passing on the Gestev-designed course. Bootes, who had the preferred inside-starting position but could not capitalize, settled for second, with Gracia coming across third.
The women’s final traveled a similar path, with Miller blasting out of the gate first, then holding off Anne-Caroline Chausson (Volvo-Cannondale), Tara Llanes (Yeti-Pearl Izumi) and Leigh Donovan (Schwinn). Chausson came across the line second but was ruled to have missed a gate, moving her back to fourth. That gave Llanes the second-place check, with Donovan, who went down hard in a crash, third.
This was the third four-rider gated race in North America this season, the previous two coming at the Sea Otter Classic in March and at last weekend’s NORBA NCS finals at Mount Snow, Vermont. Despite still being in its infancy, rumors are running hot that the new discipline will replace the much-maligned dual format on the World Cup circuit next year. Dual has been a World Cup event since 1998 and was given world championship status last year.
SCHWINN-TOYOTA BIKER-CROSS, Lac-Beauport, Quebec. August 22.; Men; 1. Mickael Deldycke (F), Schwinn; 2. Wade Bootes (Aus), Trek-Volkswagen; 3. Cedric Gracia (F), Volvo-Cannondale; 4. Sean McCarroll (Aus), Global Racing; 5. Mike King (USA), Haro-Lee Dungarees; Women; 1. Katrina Miller (Aus), Jamis; 2. Tara Llanes (USA) Yeti-Pearl Izumi; 3. Leigh Donovan (USA), Schwinn; 4. Anne-Caroline Chausson (F), Volvo-Cannondale; 5. Tai-Lee Muxlo (Aus), Dirt Works