Cycling: The German 4X team gathered last Saturday in Waldsassen in Upper Bavaria to choose the new German champions. Benedikt Last and Laura Brethauer successfully defended their titles from the previous year.
For the first time, the Schloppach ski slope of the Waldsassen four-cross team was the venue for the German 4X Championships. With a top organization and one of the currently most demanding and varied routes in Germany, you were well prepared for the fight for the medals. More than 70 drivers in a total of six categories fought for places on the 450 meter long track. This could also be done Deputy BDR President Peter Streng and Vice President Contract Sport Udo Sprenger will not miss it.
Benedikt Last, German champion from the previous year, was able to underline his ambitions to defend the title already in the qualification. With a wafer-thin lead, he won the time trials ahead of 4X veteran Guido Tschugg. After her victory at the 4X Pro Tour in Poland and a solid result at the DirtMasters Festival, Dana Elena Schweika was self-confident and took important tenths from Laura Brethauer to secure the inside track for the upcoming rounds.
In the late afternoon, the all-important races started with the 32 men's final. Ingo Schegk suffered a severe setback. After his good third place in qualifying, he was eliminated in the first run. The remaining favorites around Last, Tschugg, Scherz, Beige and Tischendorf drove up to the respective semi-finals in exciting runs. Benedikt Last and Jonas Gauss kept a cool head in the first semi-final and were the first drivers to reach the grand final.
Guido Tschugg and Stefan Scherz did the same in the second semi-final and the line-up was set for the fight for the title. Because of his qualifying win, the inner line was reserved for Benedikt Last. Tschugg chose gate two, next to him Gauss and from outside Scherz. Scherz started the race a bit exhausted from his violent crash in Leogang, but didn't want to let his chance at the title be taken away. After a good start, Last, Tschugg and Scherz were equal. Scherz and Tschugg had to back down on the way to the first double berm and let the two SDC drivers Last and Gauss go. Benedikt Last left no doubts and drove towards his second elite title in a row with an outstanding start-finish victory.
"I knew that if everything went according to plan, I would get my second German title. Despite a few mistakes, I won the qualification and thus had the important inside lane for my heats. In the final I had a great gate. Only in the second corner did it get a bit tight, but after that I didn't notice much and finished my run. To have two elite titles after my two junior titles is awesome.” – Benedict Last.
Stefan Scherz was able to get Tschugg out of the way and pass him, but he couldn't catch up with Gauss, who was able to celebrate silver. The small final was no less exciting with Christoph Herms, Denny Tischendorf, Klaus Beige and Peter Richter. Herms managed the holeshot and so the Moro team rider took the lead in front of Tischendorf and Beige. He was able to keep a small lead to the finish line and thus secured fifth place.
There were few surprises in the heats for the women. The top four from qualifying: Schweika, Brethauer, Schaub and Lackas prevailed in the semi-finals and stood at the gate in the grand final. While Tanja Hendrysiak secured victory in the small final, the four women lined up at the gate.
Schweika used her advantage from the qualification and went to lane one. Brethauer gambled and didn't choose gate two, as one might have expected, but went for three. So Lisa Schaub started the race from gate two and Lackas from the outside lane. Schweika and Brethauer won the start and simultaneously turned into the inner and outer berms of the first corner. With the inside curve and the resulting shorter distance, Schweika was just ahead. But already on the first jump on the second straight there was a contact between the two favorites. However, Schweika was undeterred and went into the second corner just ahead of Brethauer. Here she put everything on one card and attacked.
With a skilful maneuver she passed and led the finale unchallenged. Schweika and Lackas fell in the further course of the final and thus guided Lisa Schaub to the silver medal rank in her 4X DM debut. Like Benedikt Last, Brethauer secured her second title in a row and was completely over the moon after the exciting finale.