Metcalfe at the 4x pro tour
I’m going to start this write up 2 weeks before Scotland, Manchester indoor BMX track, GB mountain bike training. I thought it would be a great idea to snap my chain out of the gate and slide all the way to the bottom of the start hill; this was not what I needed the week before the euro and 4x round at Harthill and then Fort William the week after. Just to make things worse, I went for an x ray on my wrist and managed to get myself a 10 day pot on.
I didn’t want to rush my recovery time so I kept off the bike and missed out on the euro round and British4x round at Harthill. It was a hard decision to make but I had to think long term.
Right then down to business, there was about 300 miles separating me and my third try at the world pro tour round in Fort William, I have been unlucky the past 2 years due to mechanical issues like flat tyres and snapped chains, but everything was taken into account this year, and to say I only had 1 flat tyre all weekend and didn’t snap my chain, I think we had defiantly improved!
9 hour drive later, 100 versions of the green bottle song and a mum that wasn’t enjoying my singing we finally got to Fort William and for some strange reason the sun was shining! Loads of time before practice I hit up the track to see if anything had changed or not, even though the track was the same it was completely different to ride, the terrain was a lot rougher and there were more rocks sticking out everywhere. The loose sandy surface made it hard to grip too, so I had to stick on my new Rubena Kratos tyres supplied by Rubena, in-between the Harpie tyre and the Scylla tyre, the Kratos was an amazing on this type of surface.
Practice time and I was very eager to get on the track, however the line I had originally looked at through the rock garden had been flagged forcing me to go more towards the right than I had originally planned, this was not good news for my wrist as I was struggling to hold on never mind descend through a nasty pile of rocks. Throughout practice I managed only 1 flat tyre. My start gates on the other hand where surprisingly good, I was surprised the angle of which my wrist had to pull on my bars out of the gate held up, I was very conservative in Thursdays practice, not wanting to push myself to far causing me more unnecessary pain.
Friday on the other hand wasn’t the same; I changed all my lines to better ones and really pushed my limits to make sure I had the fastest line possible for qualifying.
Friday evening brought qualifying, with 85 on the plate I was about the 30th rider down; this gave me a great time to aim for along with trying to set the bar for the rest of the riders. My qualifying run was really good apart from the last corner where I nearly lost the front wheel in the sand but managed to pull it back, nearly braking the 40 second barrier putting in a time of 40.189 seconds and considering my injury I was really pleased with that result, ending up after all the riders had finished qualifying 16th.
Saturday seemed to be a very long day before racing got underway; I was excited for my first race on the new production Maxim Bikes Rasta Frame.
Everything was in place and racing was underway.
Picking gate 2, I went slightly out of shape from the start but managed to pull it back to lead to the second corner where my foot left the pedal dropping me back to second where I crossed the finish line advancing me to the next heat.
Round 2 brought me the fastest qualifier and his team mate along with the rider that took me in the first run, but I was confident, with an inside gate I snapped out and went into the first corner in 3rd, as I went to make my move in the second corner I lost my foot again practically stopping falling back to 4th and finishing that way. Not the way I wanted to end my day at all, at the finish line I found out that the 2nd place rider had been disqualified bumping me up into 3rd so off I went to the top of the VIP stand to finish off watching the racing to my surprise a phone call from my mechanic at the start said I had been moved up to 2nd due to not one but two riders been disqualified for riding through a flagged area.
After a mad rush back to the start I was straight back on the gate ready to race again, I had a really bad gate but made a move on the first corner up to 3rd, unfortunately I was closed down in the second corner and could not make anymore passes down to the finish line and had to settle for 3rd and was officially knocked out in the quarters.
The 4x Pro Tour combined with the UCI Downhill World Cup at Fort William is an amazing weekend with riders from all over the globe really puts into perspective where you’re standard of riding is. Having just come back from a broken wrist to finish 11th (3rd highest placed British rider), I couldn’t have given anymore under these circumstances, I rode my heart out!!
A big massive thanks to all the sponsors that made this weekend possible, Rubena Tyres, Maxim Bikes, Static Clothing, Uber Bike Components and Nurishment Drink. Also to mum and dad for taking me, met some great new people this weekend and look forward to seeing you all again, see you at Redhill for the British 4x series.