The final round of the 2019 4X ProTour was held in a town called Szczawno Zdroj (pronounced Sch-av-no Stroy) in Poland.
The track in Szczawno Zdroj is in south west Poland is widely regarded as one of the finest 4X tracks in the world. In the heart of the city, it is the pride of the town, lined by hedgerows and trees. At around 40 seconds long, there is a mix of high and low speed, technical and huge jumps. There is something to suit all the riders and the racing is always amazing. Scott arrived on Wednesday in the team’s Dethleffs motorhome so that he could take his time practicing the track over the next couple of days whilst he still recovered from his thumb injury that was sustained less than 3 weeks ago. The immaculately prepared track looked perfect.
Scott did some light practice on Wednesday and again on Thursday as the weather forecast predicted rain on Friday. Immediately you could tell this was one of Scott’s favourite tracks. He was flowing well and jumping all the big doubles looking much more comfortable on the bike than he did 2 weeks ago at World Championships in Italy.
Saturday morning rolled around and the race day schedule began with practice. Knowing just how physical this track is, Scott worked to a plan and restricted his practice to just 40 minutes to save vital energy for the racing.
After practice there was a small break for the riders meeting and then it was time for qualifying. The most exciting but nerve wrecking time in 4X. Riders get just one lap of qualifying. Any mistakes and it is time to head home.
Scott was one of the last riders to qualify. His start was on point and he laid down a great run. A coupe of tiny mistakes but aside from that it was a perfect run. Crossing the finish line it would place Scott 4th.
On to the racing. Scott won his early rounds and looked comfortable out on the track. In the quarter final he again made a great start and won the race start to finish. In his semi final, Scott took gate 2, Tomas Slavik in 1, Stefano Dolphin in 3 and Denny Tischendorf in 4. and Scott made a great start and sat in 2nd all the way to the finish line.
Scott was ecstatic to make the final. Again defying all the odds and doctors advice he was chasing a great overall position in the 2019 series.
In the final it was the top 4 riders from qualifying who made it all the way to the final. Qualifying 4th it meant Scott was on the outside. The gate dropped and Scott grabbed the holeshot. He was flying down the first straight and looked like he was on for the win, until the rider in gate 3 tagged him going into turn 1 and forced Scott off the track. It was a racing incident but left Scott with no where to go and unfortunately he had to limp down in 4th. It was a cruel end to his night but the fantastic news was that Scott had done enough to finish 3rd overall in the 2019 4X ProTour.
“You know this feels like a win. I know I said that 2 weeks ago at Worlds but to be competitive here tonight and really have a shot at winning the race feels incredible. I still have some major problems with my thumb but I am thankful that in a year that has been effected so much by injury I have been able to finish 3rd overall in the 4X World Series. I am stoked. Thank you to my family, friends, all my sponsors and everyone who has taken the time to message me in the last few tough weeks. I think this result is something to be incredibly proud of and I couldn’t have done it without the support from everyone. Cheers.” Scott was clearly emotional in the finish area but could not stop saying thank you to everyone.
It was straight to the podium for the awards ceremony and then the long drive back home.
It is still no rest for Scott. In just 7 days we go again in Falmouth for rounds 5 and 6 of the 2019 Schwalbe British 4X Series. Thankfully after that he has a couple of weeks off!!!