Seeding – 4th
Result – 3rd
After an up and down start to the year, Scott Beaumont arrived in Fort William feeling strong and back to full fitness. Round 1 of the 2019 4X ProTour was back in Scotland and thankfully Scott was ready to race.
After signing on, Scott picked up his number plate and all systems were go. Scott was seeded as World number 2 at this race on the recent UCI World rankings and would therefore qualify with the number 66 plate.
The first practice session was held on Thursday under terrible conditions. Heavy rain all day made it horrible outside but actually made the race track fantastic. The sandy nature of the track meant that there was plenty of grip and Scott made the most of this 1.5 hour session dialling his lines ready for qualifying on Friday.
On Friday the weather improved and it was time to qualify. Scott had worked on the fastest line down the hill during practice and he was all set to set a qualifying time.
Qualifying is very simple. One lap, no crap. There is just one chance to qualify in the top 32 riders. A mistake, crash or mechanical and its time to go home.
In the gate, Scott looked calm and focused. The gate dropped and Scott fired down the long first straight. Hitting all his lines and putting together a good run, Scott crossed the finish line with a time that would give him 4th position for the session – 0.4 seconds behind the fastest time.
“Yes I’m happy with that. I had a good run and hit all my marks. The real day is tomorrow and we will be ready to race” said Scott in the finish area.
Race day arrived and thankfully the sun was out. The track dried and conditions were perfect.
During the day Scott did interviews with BBC as well as in front of the huge Fort William crowd ahead of the finals. After a short practice session, the scene was set and it was time to race.
Round 1. Scott chose the inside gate, made a great start and took a commanding lead to win the race, leading from start to finish.
Quarter Final. In the quarter final, Scott again opted for gate 1. Making a trademark explosive gate, Scott again took the win easily, leading the race from start to finish and opening up a good lead by the finish line.
In the Semi Final, Scott would face his biggest rival, fastest qualifier, Czech Republic rider Tomas Slavik. Slavik chose gate 2. Feeling good with his gate, Scott decided on gate 3 to try and drag race him on the first straight. The gate dropped and Scott made a flier. The two riders went bar to bar on the first straight both ending into the lead at different parts of the first straight. Entering the first turn level, Slavik took the advantage from being inside. Scott settled into second and looked very comfortable.
Exiting the last turn, Scott got an amazing drive and overtook Slavik across the finish line to take the win and book displace in the final as the only unbeaten rider all day.
Final time. In the final Scott had third pick of the gate and he elected to go for gate four. Giving himself space to get a good drive and fast wide line in turn one.
The commentator had the crowd going wild. All chanting my name, blowing air horns, revving chainsaws and blowing whistles. It was an electric atmosphere.
As the beeps went Scott missed the jump by a fraction and entered turn one wide in fourth. He carried lots of speed and was close to the front guys when disaster happened in turn two with one of the riders crashing out. Scott had to swerve around him and then set off in chase again.
Sat in third, Scott gained on second but across the finish line he could not get there.
Taking third, Scott was content:
“If you had said to me six weeks ago that I would have finished third here I would not have believed you. I can’t thank Core Clinics enough for the help they have given me in getting back to full fitness.
This has been a great start for the team in the 2019 4X ProTour and we can definitely build on this going forwards.
Our next race will be the Malverns festival in two weeks time where Scott will be racing Dual Slalom, Quad Eliminator and Downhill over the three day festival weekend.
Hopefully see you all there.
Images – Charles Robertson