Graves takes 2nd in surreal Brazil 4X

Balneario Camborio, Brazil (July 1 and 2) – “It was like Disneyland,” said Yeti-FOX Racing Factory Team manager Damion Smith. Brazil’s tropical scenery and manicured courses definitely felt like another world.

This is a press release written by me, Lee McCormack

“It is so nice here, I don’t want to leave,” Smith said. The hotel is right across the street from a big, warm bay. A mile down the street, the gondola takes you to the top of the downhill course, which drops to another beach with a little cove. No pine trees in sight.

“It’s full on jungle. There were banana trees in the pits,” said Smith. “I was waiting for monkeys to show up — I wouldn’t be surprised!”

DH top 10
1. Matti Lehikoinen
2. Steve Peat
3. Mick Hannah
4. Gee Atherton
5. Marc Beaumont
6. Markolf Berchtold
7. Bryn Atkinson
8. Cédric Gracia
9. Julien Camellini
10. Andrew Neethling

The downhill course was on the short side (winning time = 2:19) and very manmade. “The rock sections and jumps looked placed,” said Smith, “like someone went through and made everything just the way they wanted it.” Just like in Adventure Land. On a short, clean course like this, you have to ride perfectly. Times are close, and little mistakes can be expensive.

In the final run, Graves hit one of those perfectly placed rock sections in a higher gear than he wanted. His loose chain slipped, and he struggled from there. Leov caught a tree with his shoulder, and that slowed him down as well. In the end, the two tied to the hundredth of a second and shared 20th place. Tied to the hundredth of a second … only in Fantasy Land.

4X top 8
1. Michal Prokop
2. Jared Graves
3. Chris Powell (go Chris!)
4. Kamil Tatarkovic
5. Roger Rinderknecht
6. Cédric Gracia
7. Jose Escudero
8. Dan Atherton

The 4X was another E-ticket ride: Out of the gate to a roller-double-roller-double-roller then a big sweeper and a drop. Riders sped through a series of huge 180 bowl turns and finished with the big jumps at the end of the downhill. “They laid grass on the side of the course,” said Smith. “It looked perfect: flags, banners, big screen TV. It was like Disneyland.”

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom. Graves qualified first — becoming the first person in this year’s World Cup to out-qualify Michal Prokop. Graves easily marched through the rounds then met Prokop, Chris Powell and Kamil Tatarkovic in the final. Graves and Prokop powered down the first straight, neck and neck, but Prokop edged Graves out and took the lead. There was no room to pass, so Graves finished the parade and took second. Still, not too shabby.

Next weekend: The NORBA national in Deer Valley, UT. There won’t be many banana trees, but the Yeti-FOX boys will watch out for monkeys.

Look for Clay Porter’s video report on

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– FOX – Front and Rear race-tuned Suspension
– Shimano – Drivetrain, chain, brakes, pedals, footwear
– DT Swiss – Swiss quality wheelsets
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