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Lopes hits trail, places sixth

A crash landing in the opening round of the Saturday’s race served as an omen to Laguna Beach resident Brian Lopes.

Leading the pack in the first race of the Jeep King of the Mountain 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional Championships at The Canyons in Park City, Utah, a fellow competitor came underneath and made contact with Lopes, sending him to the terrain.

It was an uphill battle from there for Lopes who did fight back to win the second round, but ultimately finished in sixth-place in the men’s competition.

Michal Prokop of the Czech Republic won the men’s division. Jill Kintner of Seattle captured the women’s title at the event.

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“It was pretty much the worst-ever that I’ve done at one of these things,” said Lopes, a three-time world champion, as he drove home Wednesday following a road trip to Oregon where he scouted potential biking trails. “It’s a very unique race but it wasn’t the result that I wanted, at all. It is what it is.”

The next stop for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series is the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo Aug. 18.

The series finale is Sept. 1 at Beaver Creek Resort in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Lopes said he isn’t sure if he’ll compete in San Luis Obispo.

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“I’ve been riding so much and I’m a little tired right now,” he said. “I have some filming to do for a movie segment, and I need to try to fit that in somewhere this month.”

Lopes said he will, however, travel to Scotland for the 2007 Mountain Biking World Championships the first weekend in September, where he’ll attempt to capture his fourth world title.

The competition will take place at Fort William in the Scottish highlands.


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